With the Covid-19 outbreak showing signs of intensifying, many countries have seen crowded supermarkets, as people panic-buy necessities and groceries. Singaporeans were guilty of this too when the DORSCON level rose to orange.
On Wednesday (11 Mar), long lines emerged in supermarkets in the Philippines capital of Manila, after the country reported 16 new Covid-19 cases.
Earlier this week, president Duterte gave a speech aimed at calming his citizens’ nerves amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
We can’t say if the speech achieved its intended purpose in the first place. But even if it did, it clearly didn’t last long.
As the number of Covid-19 infections surged over recent days in the Philippines, citizens in Metro Manila have begun stockpiling on necessities like toilet paper, canned goods, noodles, and even bottled water.
Other ‘less-essential’ groceries like beer were also snapped up, according to South China Morning Post.
Sanitisers and other disinfecting products were bought in bulk, almost as if they were stocking up a whole hospital.
The netizen who shared this picture also claimed that the ‘hot commodity’ were resold for twice the price.
Unsurprisingly, the queues at this Metro Manila Market were apparently 3 times longer than those seen on a regular weekend.
With the 16 new cases reported yesterday, the Philippines now has 49 Covid-19 cases in total.
On Tuesday(10 Mar), president Duterte gave an hour-long speech, hoping to reassure citizens amid the outbreak.
In the speech, Duterte pointed out that there have been numerous epidemics throughout human history, referencing the Black Death and the Spanish Flu.
He also told citizens it wasn’t time to place the Philippines on lockdown as they “have not reached that kind of contamination”. The country had 33 cases then.
We can’t confirm how the Filipinos reacted to his speech, but if the hoarding and panic-buying at the supermarkets were anything to go by, it did little to calm the citizens’ nerves.
Interestingly, reports emerged today (12 Mar) that the 74-year-old leader will be tested for Covid-19 after ministers and senators reportedly came into contact with a confirmed case.
Despite the Covid-19 infection showing no signs of slowing down, panic-buying and hoarding clearly aren’t the best ways to respond.
If anything, such behaviour only adds to the anxiety that everyone is facing, which is clearly unnecessary, since it does nothing to curb the spread of the virus.
All of us can, however, do our part by observing good hygiene, and to seek medical attention ASAP, should we feel unwell. Let’s think rationally before we act, and do our parts to help stop the virus from spreading any further.
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