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Don’t panic-buy

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SHIPMENTS of commodities continue to arrive so there is no need for people to resort to panic buying, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said on Monday.

99 Cents’ Raffy Molina unloads newly arrived supplies of bathroom tissue on Tuesday.

He said he has met with Commerce Secretary Mark Rabauliman and contacted the U.S. Coast Guard, which assured him that all the shipments for the CNMI are arriving on time.

The governor also urges businesses, especially store operators to implement precautionary measures to ensure their employees’ and their customers’ health and safety.

On Sunday evening, after Guam announced that it had three confirmed cases of Covid-19, many residents on Saipan headed to the stores to buy basic commodities.

A cashier said the store where she worked was full of shoppers as late as 10 p.m., Sunday.

“They bought lots of rice, butane gas, cooking oil, among other things,” she said. “But they did not empty the shelves because we have plenty of supplies in our warehouse.”

As of Tuesday morning, the shelves were still full of supplies.

Employees of one of the largest wholesalers on island said people have no reason to panic-buy.

Shipments are coming in and will continue to arrive, one of the employees said.

He noted that their one-month supply of rice was sold in one week because of panic buying, but the store will not run out of rice and other basic commodities because shipments are coming in.

However, he added, like other jurisdictions, the island is running out of rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizers, disinfectants, and face masks.

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