Guangzhou residents warn of food crisis during regional COVID-19 lockdown


Residents in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou have warned of food shortages after a week-long lockdown, with some saying they had not eaten a single grain of rice for two days.

The outcry came after a resurgence of COVID-19 cases starting in late May, with health authorities ordering a mandatory lockdown for those living in several districts in Guangzhou.

The provincial capital recorded six new cases on Thursday, bringing the total number in the latest outbreak to 489. Health authorities warned residents not to go out during the three-day Dragon Boat Festival public holiday next week.

Reports about a shortage of supplies inside the lockdown areas began to circulate online on Wednesday, with a video clip posted on YouTube and Weibo showing a person yelling at visiting officials from his home.

“We had no food for two days. If it goes on, we will starve to death,” he said. Meat products delivered to their homes were rancid and inedible, the uploader of the video clip added.

Others also criticized the local government for restricting their freedom of movement. “Paper towels and batteries are all used up,” one netizen posted online, while others complained that food deliveries became stinky for being left for too long. Sometimes they had to wait for up to six hours for the food they had ordered, they said.

In response to residents’ complaints, district committees said they would distribute three meals a day to all residents in the district every day, and promised to deliver them right to their doors.

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