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Residents flock to shops

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Other shoppers meanwhile said that they could not comprehend why others were in such a panic

Picture: Soraya Crowie

AS THE city prepares for the 21-day lockdown, several supermarkets in Kimberley have already started limiting the number of shoppers allowed in the store at one time.

Residents in the city queued outside supermarkets since early morning yesterday to gain access into stores, many of them panicking and unsure about what essentials to get for the coming days.

Long queues were spotted outside several stores and only three to four people were let inside as others exited.

The majority of the shoppers spoken to justified their panic shopping by stating that they did not want to be caught off-guard in the coming 21 days.

“There is limited stock on the shelves as many of us had to wait for our salaries to be paid before we could buy anything. There are many others who have already stocked up so now it is our turn. However, we have been left with limited stock on the shelves. With the immediate future so uncertain, we need to take this seriously,” they said.

Restricted

“We are not certain how our movements will be restricted during the lockdown. It is not only our movements that will be affected but also the movements of those who provide essential services. We are not sure when food supplies to stores will be delivered or even how factories will operate. One does not want to have no food and other essentials while you are stuck inside your house. The best option is to prepare in advance.”

Others also expressed concern that the lockdown could continue for longer than 21 days.

Some said their shopping was part of heeding the call made by President Cyril Ramaphosa to stay at home.

“The president has repeatedly asked people to be inside their houses and to not move around. We know the supermarkets will be open, however, if all of us are laid-back and do not make the necessary arrangements, everyone will be going to the stores as normal despite the lockdown. We are just preparing ourselves so that we can remain inside our houses and not be constantly running out for bread and milk.”

Shoppers were allowed access into the stores only as others exited the stores, while security guards at the doors were armed with bottles of hand sanitiser, which they used to ensure that each shopper was properly sanitised before entering the store.

Other shoppers meanwhile said that they could not comprehend why others were in such a panic.

“The president has indicated over and over that the stores will remain open. People are buying in bulk and not leaving enough supplies for others. It makes no sense that one person wants to buy all the milk and not leave any for the rest of us. We are praying that this virus will not affect us too badly and it is rooted out soon – then we will see how many cans of baked beans one family can really eat,” one shopper giggled.