Thai Minister: ‘Do not panic buy or hoard groceries’ over COVID-19 concerns

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BANGKOK (NNT) – The Ministry of Commerce is now monitoring the stocks of grocery items closely, asking people not to panic buy or hoard items.



Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce Jurin Laksanawisit, said on Monday the ministry had previously held talks with traders and manufacturers to monitor the risk of supply disruptions or other changes, ordering the ministry’s permanent-secretary and the Department of Internal Trade to oversee the situation and prepare contingency plans.

He asked the general public not to panic buy or hoard grocery items when it’s not necessary over COVID-19 concerns.

Since the discussions, there is now higher demand for necessities such as rice, hand sanitizers, instant food, liquid soap, and tissue paper. Manufacturers have reported they are now operating at 70 percent of their capacity, with 30 percent more capacity to be added to increase production yield.

Rice resellers have confirmed that they have the capacity to sell more rice to the market, assuring the general public there won’t be shortages.

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A representative of Unilever Thailand says the company is prepared to increase the production volume of instant food, soap, detergent, and other essential items to meet higher demand from the general public, while the Thai Food Processors’ Association say they can increase production by 30 percent from the current rate, which should be sufficient to meet national demand.

Toilet paper is an item we have seen sold out at supermarkets in foreign countries. Manufacturer River PRO Pulp & Paper said today the national tissue paper manufacturing rate is still sufficient, while images of empty toilet paper shelves emerge as shops can’t refill the shelves in time, as toilet paper packs take up more space than other products.