Stores running out of rice, toilet paper and surgical masks
FEBRUARY 6, 2020
Hong Kong residents are emptying store shelves of storable food and household supplies out of fears China will seal its borders, thus stopping exports to Hong Kong.
Residents have already wiped out supermarkets of rice, toilet paper and cleaning wipes in addition to surgical masks and sanitizers which were already running in short supply.
“If China stops exporting stuff here, where would we get our necessities from?” Asked an elderly lady in front of empty shelves, as reported by Voice of America.
The outlet also reported that there’s a “there is also panic buying on rice — a staple food for Hong Kongers — packet noodles and vitamins, leaving the shelves eerily empty, although there was no shortage of meat and vegetables in shops,” suggesting that residents are stocking up on food that won’t spoil.
“There has been a severe shortage of surgical masks and sanitizing agents such as alcohol hand rubs and wipes, with many pharmacies posting notes on their windows saying ‘No masks, alcohol sanitizing agents or wipes available,’” stated Voice of America. “Long queues quickly form outside any shops that announce they have a supply of masks.”
“Thousands braved chilly winds and camped overnight Tuesday outside an outlet at Kowloon Bay that said it had procured a supply of masks from Dubai.”
Additionally, 10 clinics have closed in Hong Kong due to the lack of surgical masks, and another 400 clinics may soon close if more mask shipments are not received.
China’s economic output has slowed down significantly due to the unprecedented quarantine of millions of mainland residents, which has also contributed to the stockpiling in Hong Kong.