Amidst COVID-19 scare

TACLOBAN CITY- Just like the rest of the country, panic buying on some essentials have become a common scenario at various shopping malls, drug stores, and other business establishments in this city and other parts of Eastern Visayas amidst fear of coronavirus disease 2019(COVID-19).
In particular, easily out of shelves are alcohol and face masks.
Big establishments like the Robinsons and Save More have imposed a policy of carrying temperature scanning for those entering the mall, causing a long line and taking time before one could enter the facility.
And those whose body temperature is 38 Celsius degree and up are required to proceed to a nearest clinic or hospital for possible treatment.
Hand sanitizers are also available for the customers to use.
Some schools have also enforced of taking body temperatures among their students, faculty members and visitors as a caution against the virus.
Anthea Aivi Ancheta, information officer of the regional office of the Department of Trade and Industry, said that they are constantly monitoring the much sough-after items as she appealed to the public not to resort to panic-buying.
“We are appealing to the public to stop panic buying because this might limit the supplies available and affect further prices due to high demand,” she said.
According to her, store owners and retailers have assured their office that there are enough stocks alcohol, in particular.
John Paul Roca, information officer of the regional office of the Department of Health, asked the public not to do panic buying saying this would not help the situation.
“Panic is not the good thing that we should do in this crisis on COVID-19. Make sure we protect our self from the virus by frequently handwashing the hands using soap and water. Do the cough etiquette and boost your immune system,” he said.
A sales lady at the Gaisano Central, who declined not be named, said that alcohol has become the most saleable item.
“We don’t have supply of alcohol right now. People snap them the moment we put them into display at the shelves,” she said.
Meantime, several officials of the region are also making efforts to fight misinformation regarding COVID-19 as messages, both in online and text, spread claiming that there are ‘confirm’ cases of said disease.
“Please stop spreading fake news. We have to be responsible to what we post on social media,” Mayor Gerard Espina of Naval town in Biliran said on his Facebook account.t
Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez said that aside from to properly observe the precautionary measures laid down by the DOH, the public should always be vigilant.
“The public must continue to stay vigilant and employ prevention of the spread within the community level. (And) in case of any observed symptoms in any individual, immediately contact the City Health Office,” he said on a directive.