Panic Buying Starts In Jakarta After Indonesia Reports First Covid-19 Cases

For weeks, Indonesia seemed untouched by the spectre of Covid-19. Turns out, that was just the calm before the storm, as soon after the Indonesian government announced the country’s first two Covid-19 cases on Tuesday (3 Mar), locals in Jakarta swarmed the supermarkets.

As the panic buying commenced, Jakarta residents filled trolleys with toilet paper and other basic necessities.

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Empty shelves & overflowing trolleys in supermarkets

Just like the panic buyers in Singapore, and in other countries such as Thailand, the prized items that people were stockpiling included packs of instant noodles and bags of frozen food.

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A man was even loaded boxes of Indomie into his trolley. Yes, not packs, but boxes.

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People were also quick to get their hands on multiple sacks of rice.

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Long queues at the supermarkets seemed to go beyond the furthest point the eye can see.

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Of course, supplies like hand sanitisers and antiseptic cleaners were hot favourites.

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President Joko Widodo speaks against panic buying

The situation got so bad that Indonesian President Joko Widodo, or Jokowi as many call him, spoke out against the panic buying on Tuesday (3 Mar), reported Channel NewsAsia (CNA).

Assuring citizens, he said:

The government guarantees the availability of basic commodities and medicines.

Coordinating Minister for the Economy Airlangga Hartarto, added that the Indonesian government is instructing retailers to ration some products to stop hoarders.

At the same time, they are working with pharmaceutical companies, distributors, manufacturers and retailers to ensure goods and medicines remain available and affordable, he said.

Stay calm, don’t hoard

The Covid-19 outbreak may be distressing, but what matters most besides keeping healthy is staying calm.

We should avoid irrational actions like panic buying and stockpiling items, as there’s enough to go around for everyone.

Do buy only what you need so that there’s more for the rest.

Featured image adapted from Tribun News and Twitter.