Via China Daily

Employees of an export company in Nantong, Jiangsu province, work overtime to manufacture facial masks amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. [Photo by Xu Congjun/For China Daily]

China has advised areas less affected by the novel coronavirus epidemic to expand local businesses, as part of its larger efforts to shore up the domestic supply of necessities and urgently needed goods to fight the outbreak, the Ministry of Commerce said on Sunday.

“We must step away from the one-size-fits-all model,”said Wang Bin, deputy director of the ministry’s department of market operation and consumption promotion. “In areas hit badly by the epidemic, we should focus on restoring production of daily necessities and increase supply channels. While in areas less affected by the epidemic, we need to expand the operation.”

Wang noted the supply of daily necessities mainly depends on large chain companies.

“So far, 95 percent of large supermarkets have resumed normal operation, and 35 percent of the large department stores and shopping malls have resumed business,” Wang said on Sunday at a news conference in Beijing.

With the increase of returning groups going back to work after the holiday and the growing demand for daily necessities, the ministry is stepping up efforts to speed up the production and increase market supply.

On Feb 1, the ministry issued a notice to urge enterprises to adopt flexible measures, such as rational rostering method to offer catering, shopping and other basic services. And more than 200,000 stores of nearly 300 large retail enterprises have actively answered the call to ensure supply, stabilize prices and continuously run the business.

In the next step, the ministry will work with other relevant departments to further speed up the production and increase the supply. More efforts are also needed to keep the agricultural products transportation unimpeded.

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