Hong Kong’s fresh food supply shortage persists amid fifth COVID-19 wave

Hong Kong’s fresh food supply shortage persists amid fifth COVID-19 wave
FILE PHOTO: A customer wearing a face mask shops in front of partially empty shelves at a supermarket, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Sha Tin district, in Hong Kong, China, February 7, 2022. REUTERS/Lam Yik

The backstory:

  • Hong Kong imports 90% of its food. Its most important supplier is mainland China, especially when it comes to fresh food.
  • And now, the city is seeing a fifth wave, recording the highest number of cases since the pandemic started two years ago.
  • Last week, after several delivery truck drivers between the Hong Kong and China border tested positive, the city started seeing shortages of fresh produce. Some markets across the city had to increase their prices to compensate for the shortage in supply.

The development:

  • On Sunday, Hong Kong recorded 2,000 preliminary positive cases, with the city reporting a total of 1,347 COVID-19 cases and over 3,400 patients receiving treatment.
  • With that, the Hong Kong government has reached out to Beijing for help on several fronts, including mending the food shortage.
  • The government released a statement saying, “As some Mainland goods vehicle drivers were tested preliminarily positive in COVID-19 nucleic acid tests on February 11, the operation of the interchange venue for Mainland and Hong Kong goods vehicle drivers was suspended …”
  • It added, “To facilitate the ongoing fresh food import to Hong Kong, the Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government has immediately facilitated the setting-up of temporary interchange venues yesterday (February 12) morning. However, the supplies of vegetables and chilled poultry will be affected to a certain extent today due to the re-deployment of Mainland goods vehicle drivers.”

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