Local media in Indonesia reported several incidents of panic buying in supermarkets after the government announced the country’s first cases of coronavirus.
Supermarkets in Rawamangun, East Jakarta, were filled with panicked buyers . Cars were seen lining up to pick up people who finished shopping. Cashier outlets were overwhelmed by snaking queues.
A visitor, Anggi, 28, claimed he drove to the supermarket to shop for additional staples, “Yes, just prepare it because the government has announced that there are residents who have contracted Coronavirus,” said the woman who works daily as a private office employee.
“I was looking for a hand sanitizer , but it’s gone, so I’m just looking for a bodywash ,” said Anggi, who wore a face mask while shopping.
“Not only was the antiseptic liquid taken by the buyers, but also canned sterile milk”.
Pharmacies and retail stores in a number of areas in Jakarta also claimed to run out of stock of mouth masks, hand sanitizers , and wet tissues.
Indonesians took to social media to report scenes of crowded supermarkets. Instagram page jktinfo posted several images of shoppers carrying bags of rice, snacks, tissue, milk, and instant noodles.
Appeal for calm
In response, the Chairperson of the Indonesian Retail Business Association Roy N. Mandey, appealed to the public not to panic and buy excess food.
“Don’t panic buy, our supplies are ready and sufficient to meet the needs of Indonesian,” he said in an official statement on Mar 2 (Monday).