Illustration by Ting Feng
Written by Jong Ching Yee

Why was Dorscon raised to Orange?

Last Friday, the government decided to raise the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (Dorscon) level after several Singaporeans were confirmed to be suffering from the coronavirus. A few have no recent travel history to China nor links to previous cases. The authorities are still working to find out how they have been infected. Under Dorscon, Orange  means that the disease is severe and spreads easily, but has not spread widely in Singapore and is being contained. 

Impact of moving up the response level 

After the Dorscon level was raised to Orange, many Singaporeans rushed to nearby supermarkets to stock up on basic necessities such as instant noodles, rice and toilet paper. Authorities have since urged citizens to remain calm after long queues and empty shelves were seen at various NTUC FairPrice and Sheng Siong outlets. 

In a bid to reassure citizens, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing explained that “there is no risk of us running a shortage of essential food or household items. We also have our national stockpile for essential items.” 

FairPrice CEO Seah Kian Peng also emphasised that stocks are available in Singapore but “if everyone starts to buy a lot more than what they need, there will never be enough.”

Initiatives introduced by FairPrice

Due to the sudden surge in demand, FairPrice announced that it has ramped up its delivery schedule. According to its media statement, “FairPrice has increased the volume of daily essentials being sent to the stores by three times; delivery trips have also been doubled.” 

Additionally, FairPrice confirmed that its prices of daily essentials will be kept stable to deter profiteering.

Lastly, to prevent hoarding of goods, every customer will only be allowed to purchase four packs of paper products, two bags of rice and four bundle packs of instant noodles.

It may be best to follow the government’s lead and buy only what you need to avoid causing unnecessary panic in society.

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