People in Beijing have stockpiled food and other supplies, as the city’s biggest district began mass testing residents amid a new outbreak of coronavirus.
The testing regime has prompted fears of a lockdown, similar to the one in Shanghai, after several positive COVID-19 cases in China‘s capital in recent days.
Chaoyang is home to 3.45 million people and on Sunday authorities ordered residents and those who work there to be tested three times this week.
Officials have warned coronavirus had “stealthily” spread in the city for almost a week.
Shoppers flocked to stores in the city and online in anticipation of a lockdown, as people stocked up on vegetables, meat, instant noodles and toilet paper.
A student in the Haidian district, who placed an online order for dozens of snacks and about 10lbs of apples, said: “I am preparing for the worst.”
Supermarket chains including Carrefour and Wumart said they had doubled inventories, while e-commerce platform Maituan’s 3690.HK also increased stock and staff for sorting and delivery, according to the state-backed newspaper Beijing Daily.
Bejing has reported 47 locally transmitted cases since Friday, with Chaoyang, which is home to some of the wealthiest residents in the capital, accounting for over half.
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State television reported residents in the district were ordered not to leave and people have been told to reduce public activities.
Most schools, shops and offices remain open.
Some buildings in the district have, however, been placed under lockdown as mass testing was rolled out on Monday.
As fears of lockdown caused stockpiling, stocks in the Asian market had their worst sessions in almost six weeks, with the Chinese yuan falling to a one-year low.
Almost 25 million people in Shangai have been in lockdown for several weeks, with residents protesting the strict measures which have caused issues to the food supply chain.