JAKARTA, NETRALNEWS.COM - Some supermarkets in Jakarta have imposed limitations on purchases of food products by consumers, or rationing, with a maximum limit of one to three purchases per product. The purchase rationing is aimed at preventing panic buying amid the covid-19 coronavirus outbreak.
At one of the supermarkets in Atrium Senen, Central Jakarta, Thursday (3/19/2020), posters containing information about the maximum purchase limit could be seen.
A small but clearly readable poster is posted on a number of food products and staple needs such as sugar, cooking oil, flour, rice, milk, and other products that consumers may purchase amid panic buying.
"Yes, that's right. We have put limitations on consumers to only buy a maximum of two to three products per day," said Enny, one of the supermarket's workers.
Enny explained that the restrictions were to prevent consumers from buying large quantities of goods that are also needed by others.
Moreover, continued Enny, in the current situation, many products have ran out of supply. Therefore, panic buying may harm the public.
"Yes, we have limited stock availability on the goods that consumers need. The shortage of supplies have raised product prices in the markets," Enny added.
As for restricted products such as sugar, consumers are only allowed to buy one per day, while various brands of cooking oil are limited to two liters or two packs per day.
For canned milk like various, they are also limited to a maximum purchase of 30 boxes of cans or to retail a maximum of three cans.
"If people by everything in sight, there will be no more products to sell," said Enny.
Shortages occur for packaged sugar, only four packs remain on the top shelf, the second and third shelves are empty.
Besides sugar, cooking oil and rice are also the most sought after, as well as instant noodles and tissue.
According to Enny, if a consumer buys more products than the allowed limit, the cashier will notify and reduce the amount of their purchases.
"Yes, later at the cashier, we are told, we can't buy it in the specified amount, we will reduce it," she said.
Meanwhile, four days after the government appealed to the people to carry out social restrictions (social distancing), the atmosphere in Senen Atrium seemed lonelier than usual.
Many shop clerks stood in front of the shops greeting customers who came, while the stairways did not not appear to be crowded.
Elevator are occasionally congested but not crowded. Mosques are also not busy and quiet.