While Wuhan residents have been able to buy food, some complained about price increases or expressed fear that a prolonged shutdown might choke off food supplies. And if the shutdown lasts weeks longer, with the rest of China also scrambling to secure food supplies, it could make things more serious, several residents said.
“If we can’t bring in produce, it will become more expensive, or we might even have to close up,” said Zuo Qichao, who was selling piles of cucumbers, turnips and tomatoes. As he spoke, a woman accused him of unfairly raising the turnips’ price.
“Every county, every village around here is now putting up barriers, worried about that disease,” Mr. Zuo said. “Even if the government says it wants food guaranteed, it won’t be easy — all those road checks.”
Amy Qin reported from Beijing, and Christopher Buckley from Wuhan, China. Reporting was contributed by Elaine Yu, Tiffany May, Russell Goldman, Austin Ramzy, Alexandra Stevenson, Motoko Rich, Anton Troianovski, Isabella Kwai, Chris Horton, Makiko Inoue, Daisuke Wakabayashi, Karen Weise, Iliana Magra, Christopher Cameron and Mike Isaac. Research was contributed by Elsie Chen, Zoe Mou, Albee Zhang, Amber Wang, Yiwei Wang and Claire Fu.