Shanghai maintains commitment to health as market activity normalizes

Ding Yining
Authorities are stepping up testing among wholesalers and produce vendors, while quarantine measures remain in effect for those exposed to risky areas.
Ding Yining
Shanghai maintains commitment to health as market activity normalizes
Ding Yining / SHINE

Shanghai vows to maintain public health and safety as its top priority and will continue to balance economic development with quarantine measures.  

Since June 13, a total of 8,659 samples have been taken from 489 wholesalers, supermarkets and produce vendors across 16 districts in the city, and all tested negative for coronavirus contamination, said Wu Jinglei, director of Shanghai Health Commission. 

For those coming from or passing through high-risk areas, a 14-day concentrated isolation will be imposed with nucleic acid testing for the virus. 

A total of 195 people with exposure to high-risk areas have been put under isolation, and 31 have been released as of Tuesday afternoon. 

Another 3,281 with exposure to medium-risk areas are spending 14-day isolation in their communities. They have all tested negative for COVID-19.

The city now has 83 nucleic acid testing centers which will stay open for at least one day during the weekend to meet voluntary testing demand from the general public. 

The city is following strict quarantine requirements for people and merchandise at local farmers’ markets and other key locations, said Zhu Yi, deputy director of the city’s commerce commission. 

Market organizers, merchants and truck drivers require digital entry certificates and health codes before they conduct business at markets. 

They are also required to make a health declaration and have no abnormal health symptoms when entering wholesale markets. Those who fail to meet these requirements must be put under isolation and have nucleic acid testing. 

"We're working with departments and district authorities to see that the measures are strictly implemented and market supply runs smoothly," she added. 

Deputy Director Jin Chen of the Shanghai Housing and Urban Rural Development Commission said a citywide sanitation action will be held every Thursday to sweep away garbage and waste at agricultural trade markets, wholesale markets and large supermarkets. 

Between June 18 and 22, it spotted 1,718 problematic spots where sanitation, ventilation and disinfection work had not been carried out properly. 

Last Thursday, more than 1,200 produce markets, wholesale markets and supermarkets have been targeted and precautionary sanitation work has covered 1.9 million square meters of space at such locations. 

The commerce commission is also making extra efforts to ensure additional supply of fresh products and food over the Dragon Boat Festival. 

Average vegetable wholesale turnover in the city remains stable at around 9,000 tons daily and additional seasonal vegetables are being brought to Shanghai from out-of-town farms for the holiday.

The pork supply has also been lifted 10 percent compared with normal levels of 10,000 pigs daily. 

Major supermarket chains such as Lianhua Supermarket and NGS Supermarket have increased supplies of vegetables, fruit and oil by 30 percent while online fresh food vendors have also increased supplies by about 20 percent. 

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