Supply of daily necessities has been stable in China, including the epidemic-hit Hubei Province, despite the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak that heavily impacted daily life and factory activities, an official with the Ministry of Commerce said Saturday.
With more Chinese returning to work, more than 95 percent of the chain supermarkets and about 90 percent of the large fast-food chains have opened to customers, Wang Bin with the commerce ministry told a press conference.
Meanwhile, around 80 percent of the chain convenience stores and 80 percent of the large wholesale farm produce markets nationwide have resumed operation, along with many farmers' markets and grocery stores.
In China's 50 key wholesale farm produce markets, vegetable transaction volume on Friday jumped 26.4 percent from the beginning of the month, he said.
In contrast, other retailers are getting back to service at a slower pace. For instance, only 50 percent of the department stores and shopping malls have so far opened for business, according to Wang.
For Hubei, especially the provincial capital Wuhan where the epidemic first broke out with the largest number of infections, Wang said while the epidemic did cause some difficulties, the local market is generally stable with stocks of grain, meat and vegetables on the rise.
Local authorities in Wuhan have ordered online purchase, group buying and direct delivery services to provide daily necessities to residents kept indoors by the epidemic.
Up to 80 percent of communities in the city's central districts are covered by group buying services from shops and supermarkets, he said.
To ensure food price stability in the epidemic-hit Hubei, Wang said the commerce ministry has ordered 150 key food producers, including state-owned food group COFCO and major pork producer Shuanghui, to provide over 600,000 tonnes of food to the region.
For the next stage, Wang said the authorities will work on product circulation, farm product sales and further resumption of wholesale markets to both help farmers sell their produce while ensuring daily supplies for residents amid the epidemic.