Buying habits also have changed, with customers shifting from prepared take-out meals to groceries and hygiene supplies.
E-commerce giant JD.com has said sales of rice, dairy and fresh produce have surged, and that shipments of sterilizing alcohol leapt 20-fold since the virus outbreak exploded in late January.
Meituan has said sales of staples like rice, flour, cooking oil, and produce have soared while face masks have become the platform’s best-seller.
A Beijing official said approximately 20,000 people were delivering an average of more than 400,000 orders daily in early February.
In big cities like Shanghai, many restaurants remain closed to normal business, offering only takeout to prevent gatherings of people, and visitors to many communities pass entrances lined with bags of foods or large bottles of water waiting to be claimed.
Millions are beginning to trickle back to work in major cities after being stranded in hometowns during the Lunar New Year holiday, and Gao said things were slowly returning to normal.
“Now the situation is getting better. Anyway, I need to get out and make money.”
PICTURES BY NOEL CELIS/afp