Even as the government repeatedly states that supermarkets and food shops will remain open throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Pattaya residents continue to panic buy and hoard noodles, eggs and meat.
As word of the government’s coming emergency decree leaked out March 24, crowds overran Pattaya supermarkets, fearful of rumored curfews and closures. When the decree took effect today at 12:01 a.m., however, it contained neither.
Instant noodles, canned fish and eggs sold out at Big C, Tesco-Lotus, Topps and other supermarkets. The meat counter also was picked clean. Panic buyers seemed less worried about soap, toothpaste, booze and medicine, all of which remained in stock.
Outdoor markets, however, seemed unaffected by the run on food staples. The Rattanakorn and Thepprasit still had plenty of food and a well-known egg dealer on Soi Khopai still had stock.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said Wednesday that those caught hoarding or price gouging will face stiff penalties. To report price gougers, call the Department of Internal Trade at 1569.