Taiwan urges no panic buying as new COVID-19 rules kick off
Taiwan appealed to people to avoid panic buying of items such as instant noodles and toilet paper as new curbs on gatherings and movement took effect to rein in the spread of COVID-19 following a spike in local infections.
Taiwan raised its coronavirus alert level in the capital city of Taipei, and the surrounding city, on Saturday, imposing two weeks of restrictions that will shut many venues and limit gatherings.
Taiwan on Sunday confirmed 207 new COVID-19 cases, of which 206 were classified as local infections, the highest number ever recorded in a single day since the pandemic began.
While total infections since the pandemic began remain low at 1,682, the recent community transmissions have alarmed a population that had become accustomed to life staying close to normal, with no full lockdowns of the kind seen elsewhere.
The new restrictions mean no more than five people can gather indoors and 10 outdoors. Schools, government offices, workplaces and most businesses can stay open as long as social distancing measures can be maintained and masks are worn at all times.
The latest measures come a day after authorities ordered an indefinite closure of entertainment venues.
On Saturday, local authorities took to Facebook to say there was no need to hoard or rush to the shops, after people scrambled to stock up on basic goods, mainly instant noodles and toilet paper.
French supermarket chain Carrefour said it was limiting purchases of items such as masks and instant noodles in its Taiwan stores, asking people to buy only what they need.