China expects more transport to resume operations by late Feb


In a photo taken on Feb 21, 2020, a pharmacy in operation stands in between closed shops in Wuhan.

More transport sector companies in China are expected to resume operations by late February or March, a transport official said on Saturday (Feb 22), as officials try to get the economy up and running again while containing a coronavirus outbreak that has created massive business disruption.

In particular, the authorities are trying to get delivery companies back in operation as quickly as possible, Mr Wu Chungeng, an official at the Ministry of Transport, told a news briefing.

Some companies which have reopened have complained of shortages of parts and materials due to transport restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the virus, while others say they can't get finished goods to customers. The disruptions are increasingly spilling over into global supply chains.

Mr Wu added that delivery services of China Post, SF Express and jd.com have resumed full operations, while 66.7 per cent of other delivery companies have restarted delivery services.

Ministry data showed more than 30 per cent of China's highway and waterway transportation have resumed operations while 28 per cent of road transport companies and 41 per cent of waterway transport companies have resumed work.

Major ports were operating normally, Mr Wu said, adding that 65 per cent of port companies had resumed work.

"The railways and civil aviation transportation network are operating normally, and express delivery is steadily returning to normal," he added.

China will release pork from state reserves as needed, a commerce ministry senior official said at the same briefing.

Supplies of oil, eggs, rice and noodles can meet the needs for Wuhan for a "relatively long time", Mr Xian Guoyi, director of department of trade in services and commercial services said.

The city of Wuhan, in central Hubei province, is the epicentre of the outbreak and remains in lockdown. The virus has killed over 2,300 people and infected over 76,000.

Mr Xian also said that China had imported five billion yuan worth of medical supplies to tackle the outbreak.

Source: Reuters

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