Shanghai battles COVID-19: How a food delivery person helps the elderly living alone
Wang Mengjie

The elderly are an especially vulnerable group during the latest coronavirus outbreak in Shanghai. Not only are they more susceptible to COVID-19 infection, but there are also risks associated with prolonged isolation.

Workers of various communities in Shanghai are working to ensure their senior citizens are being well looked after. Yan Bin is one of them.

"I work every morning from 9 to 11," said Yan, a meal delivery person in Shi'er Community in Shanghai's Jing'an District.

According to the need, Yan delivers about 200 boxed meals to elderly people who live alone in his community.

Each meal package holds a note detailing the telephone number and address of the senior citizen, Yan said, adding this is to prevent the meals from being taken by mistake.


"They will be relieved," Yan told CGTN.

Under the virus prevention and control rules, Yan is not allowed to deliver the meals to the elderly face to face.

"I deliver the meals to security guards or volunteers, and they give them to seniors who live alone," Yan explained. "The truth is some of the old are relying on the meals to live."

The seniors are also glad to have some interaction and conversation to break up the long day at home.

Calling one of the seniors who received the meal, Yan asked them about the taste and quality. 

"A little bit salty, but it's good on the whole," the person replied.

More than 300,000 people over age 60 lived in Shanghai in 2020, according to the Shanghai Bureau of Statistics. 

Yan said he feels a sense of duty to help them through this difficult time.

The city of 25 million residents, considered one of China's most developed cities and financial hubs, has been hit hard in the country's latest COVID-19 outbreaks since March. The daily infections have grown from dozens to more than 25,000 cases since March, despite increasing restriction measures. 

It reported 3,238 confirmed locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and 21,582 local asymptomatic carriers on Saturday, according to the municipal health commission. 

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