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China’s supermarkets, medical equipment companies work overtime to ensure supply

(People's Daily Online)    09:40, February 20, 2020

Chinese businesses are taking active measures to ensure sufficient food and material supplies in order to meet people's basic living needs during the battle against the coronavirus.

(1)He Chang puts vegetables on the shelf. (2) A local farmer harvests vegetables in Quzhou. (3) Fu Zhiyuan checks masks in his factory. (Photo/People's Daily)

Supermarkets in China are striving to ensure an adequate supply of daily necessities; vegetable bases are trying not only to ensure the supply of vegetables, but also that vegetable farmers get a steady income; and medical equipment companies are working overtime to ensure the production of face masks and protective suits.

"Our supply warehouse in central China region was originally located in Chibi, Hubei province. However, after the outbreak, supplies could not be delivered in time,” said the store manager of Darunfa Supermarket, located in Tianxin district of Changsha, central China’s Hunan province.

In response to the situation, the company immediately rearranged the supply chain. Specifically, the goods originally shipped from the warehouse were shipped directly from local manufacturers, and vegetables originally supplied by local bases were supplied by a vegetable wholesale market.

The supermarket hired more temporary staff with the help of the government, and also retained more staff by rescheduling holidays and other methods. He Chang, one of the employees at the supermarket, sent his wife and children back to their hometown and left them to work overtime.

At first, He’s family opposed his plan, as they were afraid that he would come into contact with people infected with the coronavirus while working at the supermarket, but He insisted on doing so.

"Food supply is the most important thing. We cannot leave people without food to buy," said He Chang. Since Jan. 21, He and six or seven colleagues working overtime have been unloading, handling, sorting, processing and shelving goods at the supermarket's six vegetable counters.

The supermarket has also taken various steps to contain the outbreak. Every day at work, before He Chang enters the supermarket, his temperature is taken and he receives a thorough disinfection, puts on a mask and changes into clean work clothes. "To protect ourselves is to protect our customers," He said.

Farmers have also been affected by the outbreak.

"During the outbreak, most of the farmers' markets that used to supply goods were closed and it was not convenient to use the roads," said Fang Xiangming, head of an agricultural company in east China’s Quzhou city, adding that "Clearly the demand for vegetables is very big, and the base can also supply a lot, but it is hard to sell them."

In order to solve the difficulties that farmers face in selling their goods and ensuring the supply of vegetables during the outbreak, Quzhou City’s bureau of agriculture immediately responded by encouraging suppliers to expand vegetable planting and acquisitions and also by creating WeChat programs for selling vegetables, so that citizens could buy vegetables more conveniently.

Employees of medical equipment factories are also busy working during this special period.

After receiving the government's notice to resume work, Fu Zhiyuan, who had just returned to his hometown in Jiangxi province a few days earlier, hurried back to work at Yunnan province on the second day of the Lunar New Year.

Fu is the general manager of a medical device company in Kunming city. The company produces face masks which are essential for epidemic protection work. "With every mask we produce, the medical staff on the frontline can be protected," Fu said.

Fu is the general manager of a medical device company in Kunming city. The company produces face masks which are essential for epidemic protection work. "With every mask we produce, the medical staff on the frontline can be protected," Fu said. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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