S’poreans Panic Buy Groceries Islandwide Before PM Lee Even Confirmed Anything

When news of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong‘s emergency address to the nation at 4pm yesterday (3 Apr) broke, it had an unintended effect on our supermarkets & grocery stores islandwide.

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Shoppers who feared that a ‘lockdown‘ or ‘DORSCON RED‘ alerted would be declared – limiting their access to necessities – thronged supermarkets across Singapore.

Image courtesy of MS News reader

Other familiar brands like Warehouse Clubs, Giant supermarkets & Sheng Siong stores were similarly crowded as well.

Image courtesy of MS News reader

Unfortunately, some overenthusiastic Singaporeans threw caution to the wind and forgot the importance of observing a safe distance — leading supermarkets to take more drastic measures to control the crowds.

Balestier Fairprice shuttered its entrance at 4pm

An MS News reader shared the scenario he witnessed at Balestier’s Fairprice outlet at around 4pm on Friday (3 Apr).

Image courtesy of MS News reader

He had intended to purchase groceries but came across a staff member shuttering the entrance of the supermarket located in Zhongshan Mall.

Upon asking the staff why, he shared that they had no choice but to ‘close’ the entrance to prevent anxious shoppers from rushing in.

Image courtesy of MS News reader

Instead, they were told to queue and observe strict safe distancing measures outside of the store, in order to be admitted to do their purchases.

Enough supplies if we don’t hoard more than we need

As it turned out, PM Lee’s address didn’t involve a nationwide lockdown at all.

He confirmed that supermarkets and grocery outlets would remain open under a slew of stringent measures announced to curb the spread of Covid-19.

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This is because the sale of groceries falls under “essential services” which help keep our nation going.

As for stocks and supplies, Fairprice has once again assured us that they have enough to go around — provided everyone does not hoard more than they need.

Online delivery options are also available, for those who prefer food to be delivered to their doorsteps.

Keep calm & buy what you need

As our nation grapples with the grim reality that social distancing will become the new normal for at least the next month, it is heartbreaking to observe the aftermath panic buying has on our supermarket staff who are already doing their best to serve us.

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What we can do then is to only buy what we need, and wait for official announcements to pass, before making decisions on how much to stock up.

If we all do our part to buy only what we need, we’ll definitely have enough to go around.

Also read:

Long Supermarket Queues Resurface As S’poreans Prepare Ahead Of PM Lee’s Speech

Featured image adapted from MS News reader.