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KUCHING, Mar 14: Kuchingites have thronged various hypermarkets in an obvious panic-buying following the confirmation of the first three Covid-19 cases in the state.
The popular items in the shopping carts were rice, instant noodles and toilet papers but DayakDaily observed that there wasn’t any overbuying at a few popular hypermarkets here by noon on Mar 13.
The crazy scene of full trolleys of toilet paper or fighting over supplies circulating on social media did not happen here as panic buying crisscrossing the globe with the outbreak of Covid-19 coronavirus.
The supervisor of a hypermarket here said shoppers had crowded the double-storey hypermarket since Mar 12.
“Yes, toilet paper is a must-have item, people buy a few packs, some brands have run out, but the most popular item is still food,” said the supervisor who declined to be named.
She added that the supplies should be sufficient for now as some suppliers had restocked this but she worried that they could ran out very fast if panic buying continues.
None of the staff in the hypermarket were wearing face masks. When asked, she said they would follow the management’s instruction and they are prepared to close the shop if needed to.
One of the shoppers told DayakDaily that she did not understand the urgency to buy toilet roll but did so because others were buying it.
“I come here just to buy a few things. But when I saw everyday buying rice, noodles, toilet rolls, soaps and a full trolley of almost everything, I bought some too, just in case, ” said one of the shoppers.
The panic buying comes after the authorities advised Sarawakians who attended a recent gathering at Sri Petaling mosque in Kuala Lumpur to visit their nearest hospital or health centre for screening as one participant from Brunei was confirmed to be infected with Covid-19.
Among the participants, three people had been tested positive for the virus, said State Disaster Management Committee chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah on Mar 13.
All three cases, recorded in Kuching, included two who had attended a religious event held in Kuala Lumpur from Feb 28 to March 1, while the third case is a family member related to one of the two cases. —DayakDaily