100s of titles, one news app for just $10 a month.
Dive Deeper:
Chinese police crack down on Beijing lockdown 'rumours'
Beijing (AFP) - Chinese police are investigating a woman for allegedly starting "rumours" that Beijing will enter a three-day lockdown,…
Beijing denies lockdown rumours as Shanghai hunts elusive COVID
Beijing denied it was heading for lockdown as panic buying gripped the capital on Thursday, while Shanghai combed the city…
Shanghai aims to defeat COVID over next week as Beijing hunkers down
Locked-down Shanghai aims to ringfence its COVID outbreak over the next week, officials said on Friday, while residents in China's…
As Shanghai nears end of lockdown, China's Covid angst grows
BEIJING: After six weeks of confining people to their homes, enduring food shortages and the constant fear of being forcibly…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Shanghai hunkers down for final COVID battle, Beijing outbreak stubborn
Shanghai was tightening its COVID-19 lockdown for what it hoped would be the final week of its battle with the…
China withdraws as 2023 football Asian Cup host due to pandemic
Kuala Lumpur (AFP) - China has withdrawn as the 2023 Asian Cup host due to the coronavirus, football officials said…
Get all your news in one place
Latest World news:
VIDEO: War In Ukraine: Surrendering Orders Issued While Military Leaders Claim They’re Fighting Back
The deputy commander of the Azov regiment, Svyatoslav Palamar, states in a YouTube video that they are still fighting in…
Read news from The Economist, FT, Bloomberg and more, with one subscription
Learn More
Ukraine Warns Only Talks Can End War as Russia Cuts Finland Gas
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky warned Saturday that only a diplomatic breakthrough rather than an outright military victory could end Russia's…
Saudi Leadership Congratulates Yemen's Presidential Council on Unification Day
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and…
We will see more cases of monkeypox, warn British scientists
The range and number of cases has puzzled doctors, who are asking why the virus has spread to the west
US heatwave brings historically high temperatures to dozens of states
Temperatures between 20 and 30F above average in the mid-Atlantic and north-east, with Washington set to hit 96F (35.5C)
From analysis to good news, read the world’s best news in one place
‘Extremely active’ jumping worms that can leap a foot raise alarm in California
Earthworm native to east Asia and known for its big appetite poses threat to forest ecosystems, scientists say
Biden, Yoon mull more military exercises amid N Korea tensions
Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programme tops the agenda as Yoon hosts Biden for their first in-person talks.

Beijing residents swamp supermarkets after lockdown rumours

After rumours swirled that authorities were about to impose a strict lockdown, Beijing residents rushed to food stores. ©AFP

Beijing (AFP) - Beijing residents rushed to supermarkets on Thursday as Chinese officials tried to curb mounting panic over a rumour the capital would be placed under stay-at-home orders.

The city has been trying to stamp out a wave of cases in recent weeks, closing subway stations and telling many residents to work from home, with hundreds of communities sealed off to contain cases.

On Thursday there were rumours online that authorities were about to impose a strict lockdown, prompting many to rush to food stores and stock up.

Beijing residents fear they may face draconian measures similar to those that have trapped most of Shanghai's 25 million people at home for weeks -- after what was initially described as a days-long shutdown.

No lockdown was announced Thursday, but officials confirmed they will start three more rounds of mass testing for residents in 12 of the city's main districts and "recommended" that people stay home and "reduce movement" during that time.

AFP saw staff at one local supermarket in central Beijing rushing to restock as shelves of vegetables were emptied out.

Sui Xin, 41, told AFP that he had gone to the store after he read on social media that the capital's officials might keep residents at home.

"Everyone is stocking up," he said, buying eggs and instant noodles."I'll be fine whether I'm required to stay home for three days or seven."

"I'm just buying some chicken wings and instant noodles, there's nothing left," a shopper surnamed Huang said, queueing at another packed supermarket.

Long lines of shoppers in masks filled supermarket aisles in the city, many with baskets stocked with fresh vegetables and others carrying sacks of rice.

"I'm not stockpiling, I only came here to buy some veg to cook tonight," one bemused shopper surnamed Jing told AFP."I was stunned by this scene -- everyone crowding around and snatching groceries."

Officials tried to calm residents at a daily press conference Thursday, saying that there was no need to panic buy food, and urging people to stay calm.

"The so-called lockdown and 'silent period' are all rumours," said Beijing official Xu Hejian.

There's no need to grab groceries or stock up.City residents, please don't worry."

But many were still nervous.

"I can't say for sure whether there will be a lockdown, but I'm definitely scared about it," a shopper surnamed Wang told AFP.

The National Health Commission reported 47 Covid-19 cases in Beijing on Thursday, including 11 who had no symptoms.

According to one online tracker by Tencent, Beijing has more than 650 areas that are under Covid-19 restrictions, including those with stay-at-home orders. 

What is inkl?
The world’s most important news, from 100+ trusted global sources, in one place.
Morning Edition
Your daily
news overview

Morning Edition ensures you start your day well informed.

No paywalls, no clickbait, no ads
Enjoy beautiful reading

Content is only half the story. The world's best news experience is free from distraction: ad-free, clickbait-free, and beautifully designed.

Expert Curation
The news you need to know

Stories are ranked by proprietary algorithms based on importance and curated by real news journalists to ensure that you receive the most important stories as they break.

Dive Deeper:
Chinese police crack down on Beijing lockdown 'rumours'
Beijing (AFP) - Chinese police are investigating a woman for allegedly starting "rumours" that Beijing will enter a three-day lockdown,…
Beijing denies lockdown rumours as Shanghai hunts elusive COVID
Beijing denied it was heading for lockdown as panic buying gripped the capital on Thursday, while Shanghai combed the city…
Shanghai aims to defeat COVID over next week as Beijing hunkers down
Locked-down Shanghai aims to ringfence its COVID outbreak over the next week, officials said on Friday, while residents in China's…
As Shanghai nears end of lockdown, China's Covid angst grows
BEIJING: After six weeks of confining people to their homes, enduring food shortages and the constant fear of being forcibly…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Shanghai hunkers down for final COVID battle, Beijing outbreak stubborn
Shanghai was tightening its COVID-19 lockdown for what it hoped would be the final week of its battle with the…
China withdraws as 2023 football Asian Cup host due to pandemic
Kuala Lumpur (AFP) - China has withdrawn as the 2023 Asian Cup host due to the coronavirus, football officials said…
Get all your news in one place