Jan 25, 2021 08:07 PM

Officials in Locked-Down Northern Chinese City Apologize for Food Shortages

What’s new: The local government in the city of Tonghua in Northeastern Jilin province apologized on Sunday for failing to deliver supplies including food to communities under lockdown due to the latest Covid-19 outbreak that has infected a total of 246 residents as of Monday.

The 2 million-strong city has been on lockdown for over a week following a surge in locally transmitted coronavirus cases. The city’s Dongchang district has been classified as high-risk, making it one of the six most infected areas in the country.

Residents sealed off in a citywide lockdown have been experiencing difficulties buying and receiving daily necessities. Zhao Yan, a local resident, told Caixin that she has not yet received food ordered four days ago.

What’s more: Vice Mayor Jiang Haiyan said during a press conference on Sunday that the failing of food supply was due to personnel shortage as government officials and community workers were all busy on the frontline of virus prevention and control.

Sun Xiaoting, head of Tonghua’s commerce bureau, said Monday that the local food inventory was sufficient for 14 days. The local government has mobilized volunteers and government staff to deliver food packages directly to residents.

A total of 14 local officials have been punished for their lacking virus response, including the party chief and the director of the municipal health commission.

Contact reporter Lu Zhenhua ( and editor Heather Mowbray (

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