Public reassured supplies aplenty
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Public reassured supplies aplenty

Retail and wholesale operators as well as the Internal Trade Department insist supplies of consumer products and food are more than sufficient, telling consumers there is no need to stock up.

Somchai Pornrattanacharoen, president of the Thai Retailers and Wholesalers Association, said supplies are ample and panic buying has not occurred after the government decided on Sunday to extend the curfew and lockdown, with 16 provinces added to the dark red zone category as of today.

"This time, people don't feel panicked unlike the previous lockdown in April last year following the first outbreak," he said.

"Low-income earners have little income with many businesses closed, such as massage outlets and beauty salons. Most day workers have returned to their hometowns."

However, Mr Somchai admitted some products are in low supply at markets because workers in some factories, delivery firms and logistics firms were infected by Covid-19.

Production at those factories had to close for 14 days under the government's bubble and seal measures.

He said products in low supply last month included tapioca flour, some canned fish brands made by factories in Samut Sakhon province, snacks, and some flavours of instant noodles.

Mr Somchai proposed the state no longer needed to add tighter restrictions, but rather allow more businesses to reopen under strict precautionary measures.

"The number of infected patients is likely to keep rising despite lockdown measures," he said.

"We're afraid if the lockdown measures are repeatedly extended, it will make people permanently poor and hopeless, eventually causing higher social problems."

Wattanasak Sur-iam, director-general of the Internal Trade Department, said the department closely monitors product supply and prices, remaining in constant discussion with modern trade operators.

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