Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing has commented on recent instances of Singaporeans rushing to supermarkets to load up on supplies following the change of the 2019-nCoV outbreak alert level from yellow to orange last Friday (Feb 7).
The result was empty shelves in stores over at least three days, although these were replenished quickly.
According to todayonline.com, Mr Chan, who spoke to reporters at a community event on Sunday (Feb 9), stressed the importance of remaining calm in the midst of such a crisis. He reminded the public that in situations such as the one the country finds itself in at the moment, it is important to remember that there are always others going through a tough time as well.
Reminding people that in times of a shared crisis, countries naturally look to see how its co-sufferers are handling the situation, he said: “If (we do not respond) collectively, we will undermine the international confidence in our system and in our society, and that will have long-term ramifications.” He emphasised that Singaporeans should refrain from hoarding supplies, especially medical supplies, as doing so could put people who need them more than most at risk.
In a Facebook post on Friday (Feb 7), Mr Chan shared photos of grocery shelves being re-stocked. After thanking the people who worked tirelessly to resupply supermarket shelves, he assured the public that supplies were enough. “Our supply chains are intact and there has been no disruption to our imports. Our retailers have sufficient supplies and will continue to stock the shelves to ensure that everybody is able to purchase what they need,” he said.
A big thank you to all the staff who worked through the wee hours of the day to replenish the food items and household…
“In times of uncertainty, it is natural that we want to protect ourselves and the ones that we love,” he said. “However I urge all of us to think of the larger communities we belong to. Hoarding means that we deprive others of things that they really need.” He ended his post with a reminder for Singaporeans to keep a united front, as doing so would “show the world that we are greater than the sum of our parts”.
Although some people expressed their thanks in the comments section below the minister’s post, quite a few called for more effective measures to be taken as there were still reports of empty shelves and people hoarding. Some even suggested possible courses of action that the Government could take to curb the problem. /TISG