Heads up! Supermarkets are now limiting purchases of alcohol and hand sanitizers amid COVID-19 ‘pandemic’

March 12, 2020 - 5:27 PM
Daily life in Manila amid new coronavirus cases
A worker wearing a protective face mask picks up items as shoppers queue to buy groceries at a supermarket amid new cases of coronavirus, in Manila, Philippines, March 11, 2020. (Reuters/Eloisa Lopez)

Following the hoarding incidents due to COVID-19, some local supermarkets are now limiting the purchase of rubbing alcohol and other disinfectant sanitizers.

Photos of people panic buying rolls of toilet paper, rubbing alcohol, face masks and other cleaning products made rounds online amid the surge of confirmed cases in the country.

These posts prompted some personalities to advise others against making these bulk purchases.

Stocks of these products may eventually run out for those who really needed supplies the most, such as health care providers and the less fortunate.

Some stores then posted signs that limit the amount of supplies the customers can purchase to prevent shortage, photos of which are shared online.

The location or names of these stores were, however, undetermined.

“Wag po kayo maghoard ng supplies. alam naming mayaman kayo pero wag nyong ubusan ng supplies yung iba,” one Twitter user said.

The sign in one photo urges customers to buy only six pieces of alcohol and hand sanitizers per person.

YouTube vlogger Say Tioco also retweeted a post of another user with a photo showing a sign that said: “Two bottles of alcohol per transaction only.”

“Yes to all stores putting up signs like this!” she said.

A Reddit user also posted the same and indicated it was captured in Sta. Maria, Bulacan.

The sign on the shelf said: “Only one alcohol of any size per person.”

Meanwhile, sa isang supermarket sa Sta. Maria, Bulacan from Philippines

One Facebook user, meanwhile, shared an instance of a charity work while other customers stockpile canned goods, bottles of alcohol and other goods at a grocery store.

User Lane Blackwater narrated how a customer and her friend paid for an old man’s basket of grocery items.

The post made rounds more than 160,000 times on Facebook and earned 430,000 reactions so far.

Good samaritan in Landmark. ❤️While everyoneelse was hoarding like hell (yung tipong punong-puno ang mga big carts)…

Posted by Lane Blackwater on Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Panic buying also happens in other countries affected by the new pathogen, specifically Hong Kong, Singapore, France and the United Kingdom.

This behavior is a person’s response to uncertainty, anxiety and fear, experts and psychologists said, which emotions were mainly attributed to reports of the spread of COVID-19 in the world.

The World Health Organization declared the situation a pandemic, which meant that the virus’ spread had grown worldwide.

Government says no to hoarding and panic buying

Malacañang had repeatedly warned individuals against panic buying and hoarding which will lead to a hike in prices and other consequences.

“The Office of the President hereby gives warning to those hoarding vital commodities, which create a hike in the prices, as well as selling them beyond their regular prices, that their actions will be dealt with accordingly in pursuance of public safety and order,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

“Those who unscrupulously take advantage of the health crisis will also be arrested and dealt with in accordance with law,” he added.

The Department of Trade and Industry also assured the public there should be enough stocks of alcohol, face masks, canned goods and other commodities.

“Monitored natin ang prices lalo na ang basic necessities… ‘Wag magpanic at huwag ubusin ‘yung laman ng grocery. Hindi kailangan,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

Senator Risa Hontiveros also issued the same view, citing the needs of health care providers and other vulnerable members of the society.

“Hindi dapat nauubusan ng face mask, tissue, alcohol, atbp ang ating mga frontline health workers at mga immunocompromised kagaya ng mga buntis, maysakit, at matatanda,” Hontiveros said on social media.