COVID-19 in China: Food supply and lax regulations cause for concern as government touts ‘return to normalcy’
By Pearly Neo
- Last updated on
As early as March to April this year, the Chinese government had been pushing for a ‘return to normalcy’ for what it deems ‘low-risk’ COVID-19-affected areas within the country, even when faced with multiple challenges in the form of public anxiety over food security and what were deemed to be relaxed local control measures at the time.
China’s Wuhan was the first epicentre of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Its strict control measures implemented since January helped it to fall behind the United States and European countries such as Spain and Italy.
But around March to April, food supply and security surfaced as a pressing concern within the country, especially with multiple countries such as Vietnam and India stopping food exports.
In addition, documents that were purportedly leaked on social media from a high-level committee meeting at Linxia prefecture revealed orders for special arrangements to be made to ‘ensure food security’ locally.
“The State Party Committee and the state governments and counties and cities [must use multiple routes] to store grains, beef, mutton, oil, salt and other daily living necessities,” stated the leaked document, which was circulated on Twitter amongst other social platforms.
“The public should also be guided to proactively ensure that they have food stores for some three to six months at home in case of emergencies.
“There should be heightened awareness and urgency about the need to strengthen food storage and supply.”