(Singapore, Feb 7, 2020) There is no risk of us running a shortage of essential food or household items because Singapore has a national stockpile for essential items, Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said in a Facebook post.

His comment came after pictures of empty shelves in some local supermarkets went viral through social media.

“There have been many reports this evening of people buying up food and household items at our supermarkets… I understand that people are concerned after the announcement this afternoon that we have raised the DORSCON level to orange,” said the Minister in his post.

DORSCON level refers to Disease Outbreak Response System Condition –a color-coded framework that was put into use after the 2003 SARS outbreak. Orange refers to the third most severe out of the four-level alert system.

“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 minimize the risk of further transmission,” he added.

He said MTI is in close contact with our retailers and he assures 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.”

A supermarket in Singapore Source: online picture

“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,” Minister Chan Chun Sing said in his post.

“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,” he added.