(Yicai Global) April 25 — The Beijing outlets of supermarket chain Wumart as well as online grocers such as Hema Fresh and Meituan Maicai have increased their stocks of fresh produce by up to five times the usual amount in the fears of an imminent lockdown after the capital yesterday detected 21 new cases of Covid-19, China News reported.

Meituan Maicai has increased stocks of meat, poultry, eggs, milk, fresh vegetables, fruits and other daily necessities between three and five times the normal volume to ensure adequate supplies for city residents and maintain price stability, the Beijing-based company mentioned.

Hema Fresh, backed by Alibaba Group Holding, has increased the supply of vegetables and other food essentials in its 40 stores in Beijing to almost triple the usual level. The Shanghai-based company has also signed deals with suppliers in neighboring eastern Shandong and northern Hebei provinces to secure supplies, according to the report.

Wumart has purchased more than double the usual amount of vegetables from out of town to maintain stock levels at double the amount of daily sales to ensure sufficient supplies of daily necessities, said the Beijing-based company said, adding that its Beijing outlets will now be open 24 hours a day.

The city will carry out daily Covid-19 tests for three consecutive days starting today in areas where the new cases were found, including the central district of Chaoyang, the city government said. The city reported 16 confirmed cases and five asymptomatic cases yesterday, raising fears the capital could impose a similar hard lockdown on Shanghai, where it is now entering its fifth week.

Editor: Kim Taylor