Last week, the capital of Beijing once again began imposing strict movement controls as a direct result of rising Covid-19 cases. Those restrictions now apply to both entry and exit to the city. Chinese authorities have routinely used strict lockdown and testing measures to control outbreaks and help mitigate potential transmission. Though precise reporting of numbers varies by source, 753 new cases have purportedly emerged forcing China to embark on mass Covid testing, restricted travel and added prevention measures in all railways, highways, and airports. Long-distance bus transport in and out of Beijing from other regions, except the neighboring city of Tianjin and province of Hebei, were due to be suspended beginning Aug. 8, according to Beijing transport authorities.
There are now an estimated 33 cities reporting detected cases, with higher-risk areas in various stages of lockdown. As these lockdown measures continue and new cases persist, those requiring PPE supplies will likely feel the strain. In late 2019, during the first emergence of Covid-19, mass testing and strict lockdowns helped to launch a perfect storm of production shutdowns and worldwide supply issues. As the world continues to struggle with the Delta variant, further lockdown procedures may indeed be imminent. Careful monitoring of the situation from both a procurement and a logistics lens will become critical in the coming weeks.