As of 28 January 2020, 16 cities in Hubei Province have been in lockdown affecting a total of around 57 million people, roughly equivalent to the population of South Africa.

As part of the lockdown, the Government has restricted deliveries to Hubei Province to all but the ‘essentials’, including medical supplies and food. Wartime measures have been put in place to provide for the people of the cities affected, none of whom are allowed to leave their homes without cause.

However, reports are emerging that foreign students to find adequate supplies of food.

In the Kenyan media, it was reported by the husband of a Kenyan student studying in the city said that his wife is getting by on bread and water, and is losing weight. Despite appeals, the Kenyan Government has so far failed to evacuate its remaining citizens from the troubled city.

Similarly, Ghanaian news sources are publishing appeals from students in the city for the Ghanaian Government to evacuate them “because they have run out of essential supplies, including nose masks, food and water…”.

Meanwhile, in unverified reports, Pakistani students have also reported a lack of food. One tweet states says that 17 students at the China Three Gorges University hostel in Hubei Province have not had any food provided by the Pakistani Embassy, and that the ATMs at the University are empty.

In response, the Hubei Provincial Government website has encouraged foreign visitors to the city to reach out if they are in need:

Foreign affairs offices at all levels open 24-hour hotlines for expats in the province (the list of hotlines has already been put on media outlets). You may call for information and assistance. Please feel free to contact us when you are in need.

Chinese state television showed footage of a cold train bringing food to hospitals and quarantine centres in Yichang, Hubei.

However, there have also been reports of dumping as farmers and distributors are unable to get food to market.

Meanwhile, there have been attempts to move from people coming out for food to having food delivered to their doors.

Chinese sources have also shown how food is being delivered to people barricaded in their own homes.

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