Responsive Ad Slot




Buhay Pinay



Philippine News

Join us at Facebook!

HK gov’t allays food shortage fears amid days of panic-buying

07 February 2020

By The SUN

One of the long queues for surgical masks seen almost daily across Hong Kong

Hong Kong has reassured the public that food supplies remain normal amid rumors of shortages. This follows the expansion of the border shutdown with mainland China, as a further preventive measure against the spread of the novel coronavirus.

A government spokesman condemned the rumor mongers on Thursday, Feb 6, and stressed that the government’s measures in disease prevention and control would not affect freight services carrying food and goods between the Mainland and Hong Kong.

“There are sufficient stocks of staple food including rice and pastas. There is no need for the public to worry,” he said, as he urged the public to be vigilant against rumors and pay attention to information released by the government to avoid being misled.

Fears sparked by the supposed shortage have sent many people rushing to buy bags of rice, noodles and canned goods since Monday, leaving many supermarket shelves empty within hours of store opening.

Even toilet tissues were not spared in the wake of another rumor that a company that was making these products was going to shift to making face masks instead, as these have been in dire supply for weeks.

Rice has disappeared from most supermarket shelves since the buying frenzy began 

But the longest queues were still for surgical masks, which many people consider as their best safeguard against the dreaded virus. Up to 10,000 people lined up overnight on Wednesday outside a factory in Kowloon Bay for the chance to buy face masks sourced from Dubai.

The company eventually sold all of its stock of about 500,000 pieces of masks, priced at $80 for a box of 50 pieces, which is a third of its going price in pharmacies - if it's available at all.

Even rubbing alcohol, sanitizing gels and bleach are disappearing fast in stores, as people continued to hoard everything that they thought would help protect them from the highly contagious disease.

This 500 ml alcohol rub from the Philippines now sells for $100, more than double its former price
For the past few days, long lines of residents have formed outside pharmacies such as Manning’s early in the morning for a limited supply of masks and sanitizers.

At the Manning’s shop along King’s Road in Quarry Bay, people queued as early as 5am on Tuesday to wait for the store to open at 8:30am after local media reported supplies were available at the store. Shortly after store opening, the supply of hand sanitizers was gone.

The next day, the queue had stretched to more than 200 people by 6:30am, but most left disappointed when salesladies announced there were only 17 packs of sanitizing fluid and gels for sale.

The scene was repeated on Thursday morning, but only 38 lucky customers managed to walk away with a box each of masks. 

As the line grew longer at the pharmacy on Wednesday, consumers also milled in front of Wellcome Supermarket nearby to buy rice and toilet rolls but found the shelves stocked with only boxes of tissue paper.

At a nearby Park N Shop outlet located in the basement of the so-called “monster building” there was Thai rice for sale, but an 8 kg bag was priced a hefty $128.50.

Don't Miss