SINGAPORE: NTUC FairPrice stores will remain open "come what may" and there is no need to rush out and buy supplies, said the head of the supermarket chain on Friday (Apr 3) as he appealed to the public to shop sensibly.
"Our FairPrice stores are all seeing more people at our stores and also increased buying today," said FairPrice Group Chief Executive Officer Seah Kian Peng in a Facebook post on Friday afternoon.
He urged shoppers to be patient, saying that shops would remain open.
"There is no need to rush to buy today or for that matter this weekend as all our stores will remain open, come what may," said Mr Seah.
Dealing with an increase in the number of shoppers as well as the amount of groceries each shopper buys will only put strain on supermarkets, he said.
"This adds strain to the entire system, and you can expect empty shelves till more stocks are delivered from our warehouses to the stores and also replenished at the store shelves etc."
The supermarket chain is getting more help to tackle crowd control and supplement existing staff members, he said.
"In the meantime, we are also getting more help to help us do some crowd control and also help my hardworking and tired colleagues with their work," he said.
"If some things don’t go right, we seek your understanding and patience. Please help my team and also help ourselves."
He also urged people to practise safe distancing while shopping and to "look out for each other", especially the vulnerable.
Mr Seah's Facebook post came as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also sought to reassure Singaporeans that the country's food supply was secure.
"Let me reassure Singaporeans that our food supply is secure and adequate," said the prime minister in a Facebook post.
"Buy just what you need, and share any extra you have with those who need it. Let’s stay calm and united during this challenging period."
A total of 1,049 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Singapore as of Thursday.
On Friday the country reported its fifth death related to the disease, an 86-year-old Singaporean woman with no recent travel history to affected countries and regions.
Mr Lee will give an update on the COVID-19 situation in an address to the nation on Friday at 4pm.