Singapore – Various supermarkets were filled with long queues while its shelves were empty on February 7, Friday, believed to be an effect of DORSCON Orange.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on Friday that the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) level had been stepped up from yellow to orange. This was due to the few local cases of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that originated from Wuhan, China, without any links to previous cases or travel history to China,
DORSCON Orange indicates that the nature of the disease is “severe and spreads easily from person to person, but the disease has not spread widely in Singapore and is being contained.”
Below is a chart for more information on the different DORSCON alert levels.
According to the MOH, the “Government has planned for such a scenario involving community spread” and will be introducing additional precautionary measures in particular areas to minimise the risk of further transmission of the virus.
Additional precautions for large-scale events, daily health checks at the workplace, and heightened protection for vulnerable groups such as healthcare institutions and schools were some of the areas mentioned in the MOH press release.
The DORSCON Orange level announcement, however, had urged some people to go into a panic-buying mode. By Friday evening, photos and videos of people lining up at long queues in various supermarkets after emptying out the shelves of toiletries, noodles, rice, canned goods and other daily necessities.
In response to the shopping frenzy incident, Group CEO of NTUC Enterprise Mr Seah Kian Peng, advised everyone that “there really is no need to buy and stock up.” In a media advisory released the same day, FairPrice said that “there are available stocks in our warehouses and we are looking to send them to our stores expeditiously. We call for calm, as supply of daily essentials remain available, and there is no need to stockpile.”
FairPrice added that they are employing an ongoing strategy of source diversification and are partnering with suppliers from multiple countries to ensure the country has a stable supply of essentials at affordable prices.
“I know many other supermarkets are also facing the same situation. Stay calm,” added Mr Peng.
Please share. There really is no need to buy and stock up as we have supplies. I know many other supermarkets are also…
Many from the online community supported the announcement and noted that panic buying would only affect the mood of the other shoppers. “SG will not run out of food tomorrow, but if we stock up, it will create a false psychological fear that food is not enough for every family,” said a certain Lester John Lee.