People in S’pore Panic Buy & Wipe Out Items in Shelves; FairPrice Has Responded

Just this morning, I’ve had a conversation with my colleague who was writing about the panic buying in Hong Kong.

Colleague: This happened in Hong Kong and it’s due to online rumours that there will be shortage in essentials. I don’t think it’ll happen in Singapore.

Me: Singaporeans are so kiasu, I don’t think we need rumours to start it

Colleague: Yah, let’s bet?

Me: Bet.

Obviously, I’ve won.

People in S’pore Panic Buy & Wipe Out Items in Shelves After Announcement of new DORSCON Level

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.

Pretty sure it’s made some of us kiasi Singaporeans anxious, but it also brings out the kiasu Singaporeans in us.

For reasons unknown (possibly fear of a short of essentials), upon the new DORSCON level announcement, people in Singapore went in droves to supermarkets and wiped out essential items from the shelves.

Viral images of people shocking up essentials as if they’re going for a ten-day outfield peppered the Internet in the last few hours.

Image: Facebook (Singapore Atrium Sale)
Image: Facebook (Singapore Atrium Sale)

And this guy might be really stocking up for outfield, but anyways.

Image: Facebook (Tony Tan)

Long queues were also spotted in supermarkets.

Image: Facebook (Singapore Atrium Sale)

I messaged my colleague to take a look at a supermarket near his house, and here’s his response: “It’s like a day before CNY lah.”

And by the way, don’t bother trying to shop online, too.


It took me a while for the 500 error to load in FairPrice’s website. Lest you’re not aware, 500 response code means there’s something wrong with their server; possibly a server overload.

Responses by Minister for Trade and Industry & NTUC FairPrice

According a Facebook post by Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, this is not necessary.

Here’s his full post:

There have been many reports this evening of people buying up food and household items at our supermarkets. This has resulted in photos of temporary empty shelves in our supermarkets circulating on social media.

I understand that people are concerned after the announcement this afternoon that we have raised the DORSCON level to orange.

We have done so as there are now a few local cases without any links to previous cases or travel history to China. This is a scenario that we are prepared for and we will put in place additional measures to minimise the risk of further transmission.

MTI is in close contact with our retailers and I assure all Singaporeans that there is no need to rush for essential supplies like rice or instant noodles. Our supply lines for these essentials are intact and there is no risk of us running a shortage of essential food or household items. We also have our national stockpile for essential items.

However, we must all play our part, exercise individual responsibility and not hoard items unnecessarily. This will create undue panic and is unhelpful to the situation at hand.

Collective defence is our strongest defence. Let us all stay alert but remain calm and collected. The Government is monitoring all aspects of the situation closely and will always make sure that the needs of Singaporeans are met and catered for. CCS

NTUC FairPrice has also responded, and reminded us to stay calm. They said in a media advisory that the company “employs an ongoing strategy of source diversification, working with suppliers from multiple countries, to ensure the community has a stable supply of daily essentials at affordable prices.”

And here’s the thing: they are monitoring the situation closely and “will implement additional protocols where necessary.”

Their CEO added, “There are available stocks in our warehouses and we are looking to send them to our stores expeditiously. We call for calm as supply of daily essentials remain available and there is no need to stockpile.”

If all these walls of text aren’t clear, then let me rephrase it in a language you’re familiar with:

Calm your t**s. There’s always going to be enough supply so don’t be a kanchiong spider.