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Covid-19: Panic shopping as Ugandans brace for hard times

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DAILY MORNITOR 23 MAR 2020

Confirmation of the first coronavirus case in Uganda on Saturday has triggered panic shopping as the population prepare for hard times as the pandemic spreads to new parts of the world.

At Capital Shoppers supermarket in Ntinda, Kampala, where about 415 shopping trollies are often packed awaiting clients to use, only four were idle yesterday. The rest were being wheeled through the shelve corridors. The shopping lists for most shoppers were similar; disinfectants, sanitary products and groceries.

The supermarket manager, who did not want to be named, said people were shopping in bulk due to the coronavirus messages and fear for a lockdown like it has happened in other countries.

Sanitisers out of stock
“Most of the sanitisers are out of stock. The price has doubled. Before it was Sh8,000 or Sh9,000 but now it costs from Sh21,000. Somebody who would buy like one piece is now buying in cartons,” the manager said.

At Shoprite Acacia Mall and other major shopping centres in the city, similar queues of people purchasing various items were seen.


“We ran out of stock, we were not ready. People are buying more than usual. It is because they do not know what to expect. Saraya [manufacturers of sanitisers] are not supplying us here anymore; they have run out of stock. I am not sure for how long they will be able to maintain supply in all our five branches,” one of the supermarket managers said.

Some people have taken to online shopping through service providers such as Ugakart and Jumia. At Jumia, one of the online shopping companies in Kampala, they still have options for individual pick-ups of orders.

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