Even before the panic buying involving groceries and tissue paper, face masks, hand sanitizers, and even wet tissues were flying off the shelves as Singaporeans both young and old scrambled to gather supplies.
In a series of photos uploaded on popular Singaporean forum HardwareZone, a promotional image of popular hygiene product brand Dettol offerings from myCK showed that they had put together a kit that included one bottle of hand sanitizer and wet wipes.
You could get one 200 ml bottle of Dettol for $7.95 and a pack of 50 wet wipes for $5.80 from the same brand. The store was also careful to mention that they would only allow two pieces per person per purchase. Whether this meant two of each item maximum is unclear.
The price of the hygiene products was lower than usual.
Singaporeans lined up everywhere
All over the island, Singaporeans lined up to grab a set or two of the products, and they probably brought along their children, spouse, and other members of their household. Take a look at some of the long queues all over the country.
Here is the ine at Bukit Merah Central.
Here’s another line at Far East Plaza, which isn’t so bad compared to others.
This one in Kovan is pretty bad, though.
Were you at Yew Tee Square?
This one in Yishun is kind of expected.
And so is this one.
Here’s one photo captured by someone actually in line.
Why are the lines so long?
As the Wuhan coronavirus or Covid-19 continues to show up in clusters and several places all over Singapore, people have become more conscious of their overall hygiene. Inforgraphics and advisories from Singaporean health officials stressed that proper hand washing, hygiene, and being more conscious of how often you put your hands on your face can help stop the spread of disease.
As of publishing, Singapore has the highest number of Wuhan virus infected patients outside of China, with more cases cropping up everyday. Even with measures like Leave of Absence, restricting workers returning from mainland China trips, and even travel bans, clusters like a business meeting and a church gathering have yielded new infections in the past weeks.
With 81 confirmed cases under observation in hospitals, 29 discharged patients and no deaths, the Singaporean government has maintained the alert level for the whole country at orange. Large, unnecessary gatherings are still canceled and people are encouraged to stay at home.
You can see real-time statistics of the Covid-19 outbreak on this page.
What do netizens think of the long lines?
For people who were probably not part of the long lines, reactions vary. Most of them, though, think that giving in to paranoia and wasting time in line are pretty pointless.
Some mentioned that Dettol has advised that their products do not completely kill viruses.
Another person mentioned that these people could be afraid.
While some wondered why these people did not seem to have to work and had time to fall in line instead.
Others thought that a 200 ml bottle was a lot of hand sanitizer and would last a household for a few months.
In another thread on the forum, a netizen mentioned that their officemate was bragging that they had a bottle of Dettol hand sanitizer at home, and that they didn’t need to line up.
What do you think o all the people lining up for hand sanitizers and wet wipes? Let us know in the comments!