“That could be your neighbour who needs to buy rice for her children’s meals or even organisations looking after the vulnerable who require cleaning supplies.”. Others have had to adjust to working from home as business continuity plans swung into place. As a result, the Government decided to distribute the masks from its stockpile directly to families, capped at four masks per household. What happened was that the Government had released five million masks to retailers over nine days last month but these were sold out within hours. Downing Street has urged the public not to panic-buy as shoppers reported queues and empty shelves similar to those seen during the first coronavirus lockdown. Asst Prof Liew pointed out while the message from the authorities was accurate, it did not cater to the layman. Singapore raised its alert level amid a growing number of virus cases in citizens with no recent travel history to mainland China and no known links to previous infections. ... even as Singapore experienced waves of panic buying … Green, Yellow, Orange and Red. Agreeing with Mr Voedisch’s observation about social media, Prof Straughan reiterated that while technology has helped to disseminate information a lot faster, it has similarly allowed misinformation to spread just as quickly as well. READ: PM Lee urges Singapore to take courage amid coronavirus outbreak, see through stressful time together, READ: Commentary: China in a coronavirus lockdown – life is normal but not really. Shoppers … But when the press release was prematurely leaked out, it created some confusion. To allay public anxiety, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made a speech a day after the panic buying, assuring Singaporeans that there was no need to panic as the city was not being locked down, and there was ample supply of food for everyone. Among the possible factors behind the panic buying was negativity bias where people’s brains tend to focus more on negative information than positive ones, said the SPS spokesperson. “Anyway, if there’s no emergency, we’ll just take it as having done a few days’ worth of shopping beforehand,” he said. Panic buying is the true spirit of Christmas There’s nothing more likely to start a shopper stampede than someone telling us we won’t run short of what we need Hugo Rifkind Mr Chan, the Trade and Industry Minister, had spoken out against panic buying and hoarding behaviour by a “small segment of Singaporeans”, even though he noted that this was to be expected. Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Professor May Oo Lwin, whose research interest at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI) includes strategic and health communications, said it is likely that the public was responding to certain levels of fear and stress that the deluge of messages had aroused. “But over time, I grew immune to it, even if a patient were to test positive for the virus. Or as NTU’s Asst Prof Liew put it: “We must have a courageous sense of normality and go on living life normally.”, Indeed, Prime Minister Lee noted on Friday that the COVID-19 outbreak is expected to last longer than SARS, with a greater impact already hitting the economy. How ready is Singapore? Supermarkets in countries around the world are rationing food and household staples in an attempt to prevent shortages as the coronavirus pandemic sparks waves of panic buying. “This meant that people were no longer reacting to rumours that essentials might run out, but this new development itself,” she said. “With the virus outbreak becoming more severe, we have now decided to take the extra measure of bringing the art to our clients directly,” she said. In Singapore, where the number of cases rose to 13 in the past week, the shortage of face masks prompted hundreds of online sellers to jack up prices — some by up to 20 times. Life has to go on.”, Download our app or subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates on the COVID-19 outbreak: https://cna.asia/telegram. The Straits Times. By now, you should know that the Wuhan virus community spread is a real thing in Singapore: the DORSCON level has just been raised from Yellow to Orange as there are now four infections with unknown origins. But this time, it’s a tad rational. "Restaurant business is down, and as a result demand is a bit soft right now.". Saturday, February 08, 2020, 18:07 By Reuters. SINGAPORE (Feb 7): Singapore on Friday raised its coronavirus alert level and reported more cases not linked to previous infections or travel to China, a move that sparked panic-buying of essentials in some shops across the island. The food security strategy aims to meet 30 per cent of the country’s nutritional needs by 2030 using less than 1 per cent of its land area. Panic Buying, Lockdowns May Drive World Food Inflation Monday, 23 March, 2020 - 07:15 A woman looks at an empty shelf with a sign announcing the rationing of toilet paper to one pack per person at a Rewe grocery store in Potsdam, Germany, March 20, 2020, as the spread of the coronavirus disease continues. Red is bad, everybody knows that right? “So far, even my friends (who are also taxi drivers) have all been continuing to work as per normal,” said Mr Ahmad. And this fear can breed distrust and hostility towards others. READ: Commentary: COVID-19 - when social media and chat groups complicate crisis communication, READ: What you need to know about additional precautionary measures under DORSCON Orange, LISTEN: Getting to grips with DORSCON orange in Singapore's fight against COVID-19, a Heart of the Matter podcast episode, READ: Commentary: Don’t forget the vulnerable in the fight against COVID-19, READ: 'We intend to stick it out with them': Volunteers write notes, send food to healthcare workers fighting COVID-19. The country has managed to be resilient due to astute planning by the nation’s food agencies and its well-connected transport network, he said on Feb 10 during the launch of the 2020 Singapore Food Story. DORSCON is a colour-coded framework that shows the current disease situation. His mother had planned to do her weekly grocery run on Saturday but he told her to do it that night as he “wasn’t sure if there would be anything left for her to buy in the morning at the rate people were wiping out the shelves”. Scores of Singaporeans — such as taxi and private-hire drivers, as well as those in the retail and tourism industries — have seen their livelihoods taken a hit. A taxi driver, who wanted to be known as Mr Ahmad, said he is not scared and has no qualms about picking up healthcare workers. Panic-buying scenarios played out in supermarkets and pharmacies, following the raised risk assessment of COVID-19 to Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) Orange, and they surfaced again when Malaysia announced the closure of its borders. "We are not sure about the demand. As a result, these became the abiding images for many Singaporeans overnight. “In this particular case, all the media information is likely to have induced strong emotive elements which were managed by some population segments by embracing these forms of rational or irrational, but culturally symbolic, behaviours,” said Prof Lwin. What it is going to look like in June or July?" Rush on stores - panic buying or exerting control? Restrictions imposed by some European Union countries at their borders with other member states in response to the pandemic are also disrupting food supplies, representatives of the industry and farmers said. “However I urge all of us to think of the larger communities we belong to. “There are four levels. said one Singapore-based purchasing manager at a flour milling company that has operations across South-east Asia. As of 16 Mar, our neighbours’ toll stands at 553. “Much of the Government’s message involved military terms (and) colour codes.". 198402868E. I’ve never seen so many people inside before, and at such a late hour. Panic buying helps people feel in control of the situation, experts say. “Under circumstances like these, people feel the need to do something that’s proportionate to … Asia / Southeast Asia Coronavirus: Singapore urges calm after panic buying hits supermarkets amid outbreak fears Widespread stocking up … In fact, Mr Tay was still in the queue when he read Mr Chan’s Facebook post but he went on to complete his purchases. Despite these short-comings in public communications, some experts felt that Prime Minister Lee’s nine-minute long speech on Feb 8 went some way in restoring a sense of normalcy. “Most nurses are worried too, but it’s our job and this is what we do for a living,” said the nurse, who wanted to be known only as Sharmaine due to the sensitivity of her role. Asian buyers were inactive this week with uncertainty looming in the market. Away from the public spotlight and media glare, ordinary Singaporeans have got on with their lives, despite the disruptions and worries brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak. As the outbreak escalates in a particular area, it will result in people raiding the shops, irrespective of cultures and national borders. Since emerging late last year, the virus has killed over 700 people and infected more than 34,000 in China, and spread to many other countries. But he stressed: “We have to keep Singapore going and we have to keep making a living. This article is now fully available for you, Please verify your e-mail to read this subscriber-only article in full. The global benchmark Chicago wheat futures rose more than 6 per cent this week, the biggest weekly gain in nine months, while rice prices in Thailand , the world's 2nd largest exporter of the grain, have climbed to the highest since August 2013. Meanwhile, curtain maker and supplier MC2 held its first Facebook Live event on Feb 11. You have reached your limit of subscriber-only articles this month. Shelves of ready noodles in Singapore were left empty after fear led people to panic buy. Thu, Feb 20, 2020 - 5:50 AM. When she was first assigned to handle suspected COVID-19 cases, Sharmaine said she was scared as no one knew what exactly they were dealing with. “(This leads) to a snowball effect of more and more people thinking of it, then hearing from the first people acting on their fear, sharing about it and through that fuelling the whole panic,” he said. Panic buying after Singapore raises coronavirus alert level. “And that’s 12 hours of festering, and it entrenches (the fear that there are no supplies).”. At the same time, it has reiterated that there is no need for people to wear a mask if they are well and it is more important to practise good personal hygiene such as washing hands. When Rona Lai, a … This service is not intended for persons residing in the EU. Mr Wong said the fear over paper shortage had spread to other goods in Hong Kong. Singapore has a robust strategy to ensure we do not run out of essentials. The virus outbreak, he added, had drastically affected his earnings lately, though he declined to reveal by how much. But a log-in is still required for our PDFs. Feb 07, 2020. Now that a sense of normalcy has returned, questions remain to be answered: What caused all that panic buying over that fateful weekend, which had left some quarters fuming - and embarrassed - over the behaviour of “ugly Singaporeans”, and others to question whatever happened to decades of efforts aimed at building a resilient society? Malaysia “Celebrate” Covid-19 Lockdown Announcement By Panic Buying Maggi & Milo. "There will be less capacity to take policy actions to boost economies.". There was a queue that wound around the inside of the store,” said Mr Tay, who ended up having to wait for more than 30 minutes to pay for his purchases. SINGAPORE (REUTERS) - Lockdowns and panic food buying due to the coronavirus pandemic could ignite world food inflation even though there … “I was shocked by what I saw on my phone. PANIC-BUYING Brits have snatched Yorkshire puddings out of trolleys as shoppers began queuing at 6am today amid fears of a food shortage. Ultimately, the hoarding behaviour was “a fight-or-flight response that has arisen primarily from fear and a need for self-preservation”, said the SPS council spokesperson. While many like Mr Tay understood the constraints and logistical challenges involved, as far as they are concerned, the takeaway was that they had great difficulty getting masks from retailers and ultimately, had to rely on a limited number given out by the Government. “In this case, our brains focus more on the fear generated rather than on the reassurance given,” said the spokesperson. No. We aimed to identify the factors responsible for panic buying extracted from online media reports.Methods: We scrutinized the media reports published in English discussing the different aspects of panic buying. Scenes of panic-buying return to Kuala Lumpur and Selangor this week as they enter a second COVID-19 lockdown amid new waves of infections. People in S’pore Panic Buy & Wipe Out Items in Shelves After Announcement of new DORSCON Level. After a brief period of panic-buying in Singapore earlier this month amid the coronavirus outbreak, more people are said to be going online to purchase groceries and other items. Datuk Rosol Wahid speaks to the media in Melaka July 12, 2020. Andy J Yap. The SPS council spokesperson said Mr Lee’s message gave people very concrete actions that “handed back a measure of control to people whose sense of control felt threatened”. Coronavirus: FairPrice chief urges calm amid panic-buying of groceries; Singapore's food security unlikely to be affected. “If they like the work then it can remain in their home, making it extra convenient for them as they do not even have to leave their house.”. Noting that Singapore, along with the rest of the world, would have to deal with the outbreak for the next several months, Dr Tambyah – who is president of the Asia-Pacific Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infection – noted that in such a situation, it was practical to keep some essential supplies on standby in case one has to be put on quarantine, for instance. However, global wheat stocks at the end of the crop marketing year in June are projected to rise to 287.14 million tonnes, up from 277.57 million tonnes a year ago, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates. He said the panic buying and hoarding of daily essentials in Hong Kong stemmed from the shortage of disposable masks. “It truly is demoralising when you hear of such incidents. Speaking to the media the next day, Mr Chan also said that the panic buying at supermarkets will signal to other countries that Singaporeans cannot react well in times of crisis and could be taken advantage of in the future. Mediacorp Pte Ltd. All rights reserved. Hoarding means that we deprive others of things that they really need,” he said. It is closer to Red than it is to Green. meREWARDS lets you get coupon deals, and earn cashback when you complete surveys, dine, travel and shop with our partners. Manchester United should only enter the January transfer market if “the right player” becomes available, says Gary Neville, with the Red Devils warned off “panic” buys in a tricky window. What caused all that panic buying, which had left some quarters fuming and embarrassed, and others to question whatever happened to decades of efforts aimed at building a resilient society? But this time, it’s a … Get unlimited access to all stories at $0.99/month for the first 3 months. Instead, they introduced the boys to home-based activities which could involve the entire family, such as arts and craft, reading and even playing Xbox console games. The highest level, Red, indicates that the virus is spreading widely and can result in major disruption such as closing schools. All done! Why People Are Panic Buying as Coronavirus Spreads Umberto Sanchez and Maria Hernandez from El Salvador, who live in Burbank, Calif., stock up … READ: Commentary: COVID-19 the new national test for Singapore. "It is not a supply issue, but it is a behavioural change over food security," he told Reuters by phone from Rome, the FAO headquarters. However, she feels disappointed at the discrimination against healthcare workers shown by some Singaporeans, even as many others expressed gratitude for their work. Panic buying may be irrational, but it can be comforting. ‘The shelves were empty of rice, pasta, beans of all kinds, lentils and loo roll. Approximately 0.9 % of news came from China on panic buying and 1.4 % from North Korea . The world's richest nations poured unprecedented aid into the global economy as coronavirus cases ballooned across Europe and the United States, with the number of deaths in Italy outstripping those in mainland China, where the virus originated. “As far as I know, when a quarantine officer comes to put a person on quarantine, they do not let you go shopping at the supermarket first,” he said. On the evening of the panic buying in Singapore, Mr Seah Kian Peng, who is the chief executive of supermarket cooperative NTUC Fairprice, also assured the public that there were sufficient supplies of daily essentials in the warehouse. By Kate Gibson Updated on: November 18, 2020 / 5:06 PM / MoneyWatch … Supermarkets in countries around the world are rationing food and household staples in an attempt to prevent shortages as the coronavirus pandemic sparks waves of panic buying. This is an opportunity to bond with the kids, work on some home improvement tasks and plan for the year ahead,” Mr Chiam said. Professor Straughan, whose research interests include medical sociology that encompasses infectious diseases, said it did not help that the public was seeing these images circulated on social media late in the night. “The problem with the message was that it was too bureaucratic at the start,” said Assistant Professor Liew Kai Khiun, who teaches at NTU's WKWSCI. “Our brains are hardwired to register negative stimuli more readily and also to dwell and worry on them for a longer period of time,” the spokesperson said. Flow of goods, cargo, and food supplies between Singapore and Malaysia will continue. By broadcasting live on the social media platform, customers were given the chance to ask questions and interact with the company’s salesperson in real time as he gave demonstrations of the company’s various zip-blind products. Communications experts said the panic-buying in Singapore might have been avoided if the information disseminated by the authorities had been clearer. ... Singapore … All rights reserved. Background: Panic buying is an erratic human behavior that has been reported irregularly and episodically. HULU TERENGGANU, Dec 13 — The people do not have to carry out panic buying of goods despite reports claiming that the number of Covid-19 transmissions in Malaysia is expected to be more serious next year. The images of empty shelves circulating on social media played a big part, said Singapore Management University sociologist Paulin Straughan. Lockdown fears spark panic buying in S.Korea as cases spike South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun has warned that the government may impose harsher restrictions on … However, he was uncertain if an address by Mr Lee to the public at an earlier juncture would have helped. While Mr Tay and his mother had joined the hordes of shoppers at the supermarkets, their purchase was relatively measured compared to the others: Pictures of shoppers with overflowing trolleys went viral, along with photographs and videos of empty vegetable and fruit baskets, and chillers devoid of meat. — Bernama pic. The Government had made clear that it has a stockpile of masks but this did not prevent long queues or stocks running out at shops and pharmacies. Hong Kong has also been hit by a wave of panic-buying in recent days as it seeks to battle the virus, with supermarket shelves frequently emptied of crucial goods. READ: Coronavirus outbreak: Singapore raises DORSCON level to Orange; schools to suspend inter-school, external activities, READ: No need to rush for supplies, says Chan Chun Sing, amid reports of surge in demand, READ: COVID-19: Supply chain remains robust, 'panic buying' situation has stabilised, says Lawrence Wong, READ: Commentary: Singaporeans queued for toilet paper and instant noodles – there is no shame in that, READ: Commentary: Fighting fear is key part in battling COVID-19. Audrey Tan. Google, Temasek agree to invest US$350m in Indonesia's Tokopedia. The reassurance given, ” she said it, ” said Prof Straughan agreed noting! Of daily essentials in Hong Kong when the press release was circulated on social media played a big,. To do their part for their fellow citizens, with numerous ground-up initiatives started in the population... I ’ ve never seen so many people still remember it today was not that. 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