Minister of Trade and Industry, Chan Chun Sing calls for the public to remain calm and collected as supermarkets are being cleared of its stocks followed the announcement by the Ministry of Health (MOH) that the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) will be raised to Orange.
Just this evening (7 Feb), MOH raised DORSCON to Orange as it announced three new novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) cases of unknown origin. Including the first case of unknown origin was announced by MOH on Thursday, this makes a total of four individuals in the country, with no links to previous cases and no recent travel history to China have been tested positive for the deadly virus and a total of 33 infected cases so far.
Noting that people are concerned over the announcement, Mr Chan wrote in his Facebook post on Friday evening to assure Singaporeans that there is no need to rush for essential supplies like rice or instant noodles.
“Our supply lines for these essentials are intact and there is no risk of us running a shortage of essential food or household items. We also have our national stockpile for essential items.” said Mr Chan.
He went on to remind the public that they all have to play their part and exercise individual responsibility and not hoard items unnecessarily.
“This will create undue panic and is unhelpful to the situation at hand.”
Mr Chan wrote, “Collective defence is our strongest defence. Let us all stay alert but remain calm and collected. The Government is monitoring all aspects of the situation closely and will always make sure that the needs of Singaporeans are met and catered for.”
Mad rush to stock up essential items
Following reports of MOH’s announcement to raise DORSCON to Orange, members of public have been rushing to the supermarkets to stock up on food items.
Photos circulated on social media platforms show shelves of stores being cleared of items.
TOC in its visit to the supermarkets at Chua Chu Kang, found members of public stocking up mostly on rice, bread, paper towels, wet tissues/wipes and instant noodles as they are nearly swept clean.
This is reported to be the same for all regions around the island.
One shopper was overheard calling to her friend, exclaiming that if she does not come to buy rice soon, all will be sold out. While that is not exactly the case at the time of her call, as the nearby shop was still having some stock, Nevertheless, she sounded very convincing.