China has told farmers to step up vegetable production, opened roads for delivery trucks and is punishing those trying to profit in order to keep feeding residents of the locked down city of Wuhan at the center of the new coronavirus outbreak.

Authorities cut most transport links to the central Chinese city last week to try to halt the spread of the flu-like virus. Thousands of cases have been reported in China, with a small number in countries including the United States, Thailand and Singapore.

The unprecedented move prompted people in the city of 11 million to rush to supermarkets to stock up on instant noodles, vegetables and whatever else they could put their hands on.