Hong Kong retail chains ration staples to curb Covid panic buying

Hong Kong retail chains ration staples to curb Covid panic buying

March 7, 2022: -On Friday, two of Hong Kong’s most prominent consumer retail chains started rationing some food and drug items to curb panic buying that has plagued the city over the previous week amid fears of a citywide lockdown as Covid-19 cases soar.

Supermarket chain ParknShop announced limits of five items per customer on staples like rice, canned food, and toilet paper. At the same time, pharmacy Watsons put the same limitations on medication for pain, fever, and colds Hong Kong media reported.

On Wednesday, ParknShop is announcing shorter opening hours, with some of its 200 branches shutting at 3 p.m., by which time many shops across the Asian financial hub have been stripped of fresh and frozen meat and vegetables in the last few days.

Both ParknShop and Watsons are the Hong Kong-listed conglomerate CK Hutchison.

Hong Kong officials repeatedly urged people against panic which buys this week, adding that supplies were adequate.

Amid public complaints of confused official messaging, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has said her government had no plan for a “complete lockdown.” At the same time, it plots compulsory testing of the city’s 7.4 million residents.

The government announces details of the plan when finalized, she said.

On Thursday, authorities reported a new daily record of 56,827 new infections and 144 deaths, an exponential rise from about 100 in early February.

The increase in cases and fears over a lockdown has sparked mass departures of people from the city, where authorities are clinging to a “dynamic zero” policy to eradicate all outbreaks.

Other restaurants and shops are shuttered, while its Central financial district is eerily quiet, and few people are out in normally bustling neighborhoods.

On Tuesday, highlighting growing public frustration, a prominent businessman and government adviser, Allan Zeman, said that Hong Kong’s international reputation had been “very damaged,” and the alarm had been created by the confusing messages.

Posts You Might Like
Summary
Hong Kong retail chains ration staples to curb Covid panic buying
Article Name
Hong Kong retail chains ration staples to curb Covid panic buying
Description
Two of Hong Kong’s most prominent consumer retail chains started rationing some food and drug items to curb panic buying
Author
Publisher Name
The Women Leaders
Publisher Logo