Covid-19 in China: the government's strange call to store food, in the midst of an epidemic resurgence

the essential China calls on its population to stock up on food. A notice was published on the website of the Ministry of Commerce without providing further explanation. The country fears a new epidemic outbreak.

The Chinese government has called on the population to build up food reserves as the country tries to fight a limited epidemic upsurge that is disrupting communications. A notice posted on the website of the Ministry of Commerce Monday evening invites “households to store a certain amount of basic necessities in order to meet daily needs and emergencies”.

The notice does not specify the reason for the call or whether the country is threatened with food shortage. The ministry also calls on the various local authorities to facilitate agricultural production and supply flows, to monitor stocks of meat and vegetables and to maintain price stability. At the height of the Covid epidemic – 19 in China at the start of 2020, the chains of supply had been disrupted by the quarantine of several parts of the country and the blocking of many roads.

The Winter Olympics are approaching

With the approach of the Winter Olympics in Beijing next February, the government fears a new epidemic outbreak and has taken radical measures in recent weeks following the appearance of sporadic outbreaks of Covid – 19 in the north of the country. At least 6 million people have been confined, especially in the large city of Lanzhou, 1. 700 km west of Beijing.

However, the number of cases observed remains very low compared to the reports recorded in the rest of the world. Only 71 new cases of contamination were announced Tuesday for the last 24 hours, after 92 case Monday, the heaviest national count since mid-September. The country was also hit last summer by floods which disrupted agricultural production and pushed up prices. Climate change is likely to increase the frequency of these types of natural disasters.

China has experienced several famines in the past

China is already the world’s largest importer of food products, a situation that makes it vulnerable to diplomatic tensions, such as those underway with its big suppliers like the United States, Canada or Australia. 28 foodstuffs were up % compared to the previous month, Chinese press reported on Monday, relying on official data. Last year, President Xi Jinping called on his fellow citizens to save food and denounce food waste.

China has in its history been hit by episodes of famine, especially at the end of the years 1950 and at the beginning of the years 1960 , when the collectivization of land imposed by the communist regime caused tens of millions of deaths in the countryside.

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