Wild photo lays bare delivery crisis ahead of holidays

Authorities are reassuring millions of residents courier services can cope with increased demand after insane photos of mountains of parcels emerged.

The surging Covid outbreak in China has only exacerbated the pressure on the nation's postal industry with a surge in medicines being distributed, while staff numbers have dwindled thanks to sweeping infection.

Remarkable photos from a sorting centre in the city of Taiyuan on Tuesday has laid bare the pressure facing workers ahead of the Spring Festival holiday next month.

A worker can be seen standing on top of packages as he attempts to sort through the chaos.

A worker in red standing on a mountain of parcels.
A worker is lost amongst a sea of parcels. Source: VCG via Getty

A significant backlog of parcels has forced couriers to bring in extra resources in a bid to get on top of deliveries. There are grave fears the industry is now at breaking point.

"This is the first time I have seen such a situation. The entire branch is completely paralysed, and the warehouse is full of express deliveries... there is no manpower," one concerned worker in Anhui said, according to Chinese tech site TMTPost.

However the State Post Bureau of China said it would ensure all parcels will be delivered, stressing the delivery of Covid medicines and drugs will take "top priority", China Daily reported.

One Beijing resident told the publication she failed to make contact with a courier last week to send a parcel as the industry struggled to cope.

Authorities are reassuring residents the industry can get on top of the backlog. Source: VCG via Getty
Authorities are reassuring residents the industry can get on top of the backlog. Source: VCG via Getty

Courier services have asked customers to "wait patiently" as parcels will be delivered "as soon as possible".

There has also been several reports some parcels have been opened prior to delivery, with medicines missing from inside.

China's daunting Covid wave sweeping the country

China is facing a daunting Covid wave after it abandoned its zero-Covid strategy earlier this month and eased many of its draconian restrictions.

Hospitals are now being pushed to their limits as infection rates soar across the country. Half of Shanghai's 26 million population is expected to be infected by the end of 2022, while experts predict one million people could die from the virus in 2023.

One hospital in Shanghai feared the entire city would become infected.

"In this tragic battle, the entire Greater Shanghai will fall, and we will infect all the staff of the hospital! We will infect the whole family! Our patients will all be infected! We have no choice, and we cannot escape," it said in a social media post.

There are fears China's two-dose vaccine rate is vastly insufficient to cope with the wave, while Chinese made vaccines are widely regarded as inferior to Western-made jabs.

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