Koreans splunge into panic buying mode because of rising Covid-19 cases

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Yet another panic buying episode caused by Covid-19!

This time, it’s in Daegu, Korea. The number of infections in the fourth largest city in South Korea have increased by ten-folds in less than a week. The official data states that more than 200 news cases have been reported in three days, an average of 90 cases per day!

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The cause of the panic roots from church cluster, Shincheonji Church of Jesus. A 61-year-old member is believed to be the ‘super spreader’ as she might have spread the virus attending several mass services while having flu-like symptoms.

She was later confirmed for Covid-19, and one-third of the total cases recorded in the country are found to have originated from the religious sect. Following that, the residents of Daegu have been put under self-quarantine and advised to wear mask at all times, even indoors.

This has sparked panic and fear among local residents. Worried their city would turn into another Wuhan, they started storming the nearest supermarkets and convenience stores, stashing up on groceries and essentials. Masks have become the top selling item since the crown virus disease first spread, and it has remained in the top spot in all the affected countries, Korea included.

Though it had just begun, most supermarkets are spotted to have largely empty shelves, which the public are taking pictures of and posting on social media to indicate how bad the situation is in their country.

In other places, people don’t mind waiting in extremely long queues to get their hands on medical supply and household items.

While the marts and pharmacies are crowded, other parts of the city is significantly quieter. Parks and public commute areas are scarce of people.

Human interaction is also becoming a prominent fear among them as they rather stay at home than go out for work or send children to school. Subway stations near the church can be seen empty most of the days despite thorough disinfection procedures and strict security and safety measures.

As of February 24, the number of confirmed cases has escalated to an alarming 763 infections, and 7 deaths. The country is now on Level 4 alert, which is the highest possible emergency level with immediate effect of travel ban and lockdown of cities.