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‘Rush in markets rises after partial curfew imposed’

‘No reason for panic buying as chicken, meat, abundant foodstuff is available’

KUWAIT CITY, March 26: Since the Cabinet’s decision to implement the partial curfew; citizens and expatriates have been rushing to cooperative societies, meat and poultry stores and shops in an alarming scene that does not comply with the health authorities’ warnings about the need to avoid gatherings, reports Al-Anba daily.

Shuwaikh Industrial Area has been the busiest, as its main roads were congested on Monday morning; along with queues and eagerness to buy despite repeated assurances by officials that the food stock is safe, abundant and sufficient for several months.

The daily monitored activities of the meat and poultry markets in Shuwaikh that day. It was a very busy day; up to the extent of causing traffic jams, as shops witnessed some citizens and expatriates lining up outside to take numbers away from the stampede inside the shops, in implementation of the authorities’ decision not to allow entry of more than five people.

Citizen Ahmad Al-Bannai said that crowding in the markets after the implementation of the partial curfew, which is applied in the country for the first time, is natural as the country is going through an exceptional circumstances. He indicated that the time is very short for shopping and the matter is greatly annoying, but in the beginning there was some sort of panic and fear.

He believes that in the coming days, this congestion will subside because the majority are already done with their shopping. He affirmed the prices are reasonable. He said nothing has changed and all goods are available, stressing that people need to repeat educational messages to reassure them about the situation in the country.

Mohammad Bou Gassim, who works in a meat shop, revealed the customers are shopping twice their previous supply due to fear of total curfew. He said the sellers are trying to reassure the consumers that supply is abundant and the quantity of meat in their stores is more than before, confirming that prices have not changed. Citizen Bader Amer explained that crowding in the purchase of meat and poultry is unjustified, attributing this to the uncertainty of the situation among the people and the fear of imposing total curfew.

He noted that determining the time to implement the curfew or knowing how long it will be applied will reduce congestion, in addition to organizing shops for the purchase, indicating that prices have not changed. Ahmad Rizk said while working in a poultry shop that the price of a kilo of chicken has not changed – 850 fils, reiterating the supply of poultry is abundant. In order to avoid congestion, the health authorities’ decision to limit the number of shoppers inside the store to two is being applied, he added. Expatriate Abdullah Al-Sulaiman revealed that he went out to buy only the necessities and he found everything is available; hence, there is no reason to resort to panic buying.

He prayed that Almighty Allah continues to protect Kuwait and its people and bless them with security and safety. Hossam Sharif, who works in a meat shop, noticed a remarkable increase in the number of buyers after the implementation of the partial curfew; stressing that crowding is unjustified. He assured everyone that goods and meat are available in huge quantities, while prices have not changed. He allows only four people to enter the store at a time in line with the authorities’ directive to curb the spread of coronavirus.

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