Following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on Sunday evening, some citizens have started stocking up on essentials and food items in bulk.
Even though the government has been discouraging people from engaging in panic buying, some big retailers’ shelves have been cleaned out.
Pictures of long queues at several Makro and Game stores in the country were doing the rounds on social media on Monday.
However, it’s not everyone who has the budget for such shopping.
Those who don’t have the money for panic buying, say they fear that they won’t find anything left for them to buy at the end of the month.
Some have called on retailers to implement restrictions or limitations of certain amount of goods per customer.
Items such as toilet paper, hand sanitizers and none-perishable food are the most bought goods by consumers.
Sixty-two confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported in the country with several more, including two of internal transmission, under investigation.
National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) executive director Lisa Seftel says panic buying will aggravate the situation.
“Important public message is that there should be no panic buying because that will disrupt supply. We should encourage where possible working from home short time shift and working online,” adds Seftel.
Our partners in South Africa are panic buying all products from the shelves pic.twitter.com/GchO1yIVKs
— Cape Flats – Yasser Fourie1 (@YasserFourie1) March 16, 2020
Panic buying in South Africa. Do you see us doing this in Zimbabwe? Should we start? Where are we going to get the money from to clear shelves like this! pic.twitter.com/leHmRAewYw
— Victor Utedzi (@UtedziV) March 16, 2020
Massive panic buying in South Africa!
Why are people emptying the shelves just like that? pic.twitter.com/ZLoJipKHly
— Kudzai Mutisi (@KMutisi) March 16, 2020
Schools to close as fight against coronavirus intensify
Ramaphosa announced that schools would be closed from Wednesday, March 18.
Some institutions, including Wits University, the University of Johannesburg, University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) have already temporarily cancelled all classes and tests.
The overall number of infections in mainland China stood at 80 881 as of Monday.
The death toll in China had reached 3 226, up by 13 from the previous day.
In the video below, President Ramaphosa announced government measure of containing the virus from spreading
Below is a Live Tracking of the cases, death toll and other information, updated daily: