Beijing officials urged residents to work remotely and suspended large-scale gatherings such as cultural performances, sporting events and exhibitions. Some streets in Chaoyang, where most cases have been detected so far, were exceptionally quiet. Officials had previously identified a small area elsewhere in the district, covering about a square mile in southern Chaoyang, where they ordered residents to lock themselves in or discouraged them from leaving their homes.
Many Chaoyang residents appeared to heed the advice, with restaurants and sidewalk shops running out of customers. Concerns over a lockdown had prompted panic buying on Sunday and Monday, but convenience stores and supermarkets appeared well stocked on Tuesday.
“Domestic products are sufficient and the supply is sufficient, please consume rationally,” a loudspeaker said at a local supermarket in Chaoyang district. “Don’t buy too much, don’t believe or spread rumors. Leave the supermarket quickly after your shopping.
Liu Changle, a meat counter worker, said his company doubled the stock available to customers on Monday and many items were nearly sold out. The supermarket had also extended opening hours on Sunday evening, and a steady stream of customers were buying all the vegetables and meat. By Tuesday, he said, the flow of cases was back to normal.
“It seems everyone has bought enough food and won’t come to buy,” Liu said. When asked if he was worried about being placed in quarantine, he said he was from Hubei, the province where the coronavirus first emerged in early 2020, and also had lived under numerous confinement measures. “I think I’m used to being in quarantine, so I’m not nervous anymore.”
Beijing has sought to reassure the public about supplies to avoid widespread panic. The city’s deputy mayor, Chen Jining, inspected several markets on Monday in a staged show that authorities were paying attention to food supplies. Zhao Weidong, deputy director of the city’s commerce bureau, said on Tuesday the government would start releasing 100 tons of eggs from its reserves to meet public demand.