A sudden influx of people to supermarkets in Madeira is causing the stock out of some products during the afternoon and evening of this Wednesday, the day when the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Covid-19 disease as a pandemic, and when, for now, there is no record of any case of infection with the new coronavirus in the Region.
In a round made by Diário Notícias with the main commercial units of food distribution, there is an atypical influx of people. One of the employees confided in us that the race is such that it even surpasses that traditionally seen on Christmas Eve.
Hygiene products such as soap, soap and toilet paper are the most sought after, with empty shelves and some products sold out. Food products with a longer shelf life, such as canned goods, pasta and rice, are also being purchased by Madeirans at an unusual rate.
But the demand is also verified in other sections of supermarkets such as butchers. One of the employees informed us that the refrigerated meat that was in the cold store to consume until Friday has already run out.
There are also partially empty shelves in the fruit, vegetable and frozen section.
The fear of being quarantined due to infection by the coronavirus is the most plausible explanation for the great affluence that has been observed in the commercial units of the food industry in Madeira, despite the appeal for serenity, left by the Directorate-General for Health, so that the population does not rush to supermarkets and take products on a scale, causing unnecessary disruptions.
The race came on the day that WHO declared the outbreak of the new coronavirus as a pandemic. Also today, the Regional Government attributed the Covid-19 outbreak to a 20% drop in the tourism sector in the Autonomous Region of Madeira.
Miguel Albuquerque, president of the Madeiran executive, stressed that the epidemiological evolution of the disease requires “temporary and exceptional” measures in the regional context, covering the business, school, sports and cultural sectors.