Panic Buying Due To Coronavirus Is 'Unnecessary', Says Czech Business Head
The president of SOCR ČR, the Confederation of Commerce and Tourism of the Czech Republic, has said that panic buying due to fears over coronavirus is "unnecessary", adding that the country's retailers are well-stocked with food and non-food products.
“The panic that has arisen in recent days is a natural reaction of people to insecurity, but is unnecessary," Thomas Prouza commented.
"Any stricter measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus COVID-19 will not result in the closure of shops, warehouses, or changes to the supply of food and other goods."
First Three Cases
The Czech Republic announced its first three COVID-19 cases at the weekend, with two patients being treated at the Bulovka Hospital in Prague, and one in Ústí nad Labem, north of the capital.
Ahead of the cases being confirmed, close to 200 suspected cases were assessed in the country.
Prouza said that retailers have responded well to increased demand from shoppers in recent days.
"As demonstrated over the past few days, retailers have been able to respond, meet heightened demand from shoppers and improve handling in stores and warehouses," he said. "In this context, I want to thank shop and store employees who have been working to the maximum for the last few days and have managed the increased numbers of customers very well. ”
He said that retailers are paying particular attention to ensuring that durable foods products, as well as baby products, toiletries and hygiene products were well-stocked, while suppliers were also increasing production to meet demand.
"If some products are not available on a short-term basis, it is because many stores do not have their own large warehouses, but are supplied by continuous delivery from central warehouses," Prouza added.
The Czech government has called on business owners and hospitality vendors to be particularly vigilant following the confirmed cases at the weekend.
The government is also reportedly considering whether to ban large scale events, such as the upcoming Biathlon World Cup in Nové Město na Moravě, in order to curb the potential spread of the virus.
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.