SINGAPORE: Singapore is not facing immediate risks of running out of food or essential supplies, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing on Monday (Mar 16), shortly after Malaysia announced travel restrictions into and out of the country.
"The Government has been actively working with essential firms such as NTUC Fairprice, Sheng Siong and Dairy Farm International to increase our stock of food and essential supplies over the last two months," said Mr Chan in a Facebook post.
"This means that we are not facing any immediate risks of running out of food or other supplies brought in by our retailers."
He also urged people to "purchase in a responsible manner and to purchase only what you need".
Singapore gets much of its food supply from across the Causeway, and many Malaysians cross over daily to work in Singapore. Singaporeans also cross over frequently to shop, holiday and for business.
In addition to building up the inventory of food and essential supplies, Singapore also has a robust multi-pronged strategy that ensures the country does not run out of essentials, Mr Chan said.
"For example, we have local production capabilities for products such as noodles, infant milk powder and canned goods among others.
"In the event that we need to increase supply for our domestic consumption, we can ramp up quickly and easily to do so. We have also continued to diversify our sources of essential goods, for example we get a good amount of vegetables from China and even go as far as Ukraine to secure our supply of eggs.
"Although we are not facing any shortages, I urge everyone to continue to purchase in a responsible manner and to purchase only what you need. Otherwise, no amount of stockpiling will be sufficient," he said.
Businesses that employ Malaysian workers who commute between Singapore and Malaysia daily may have to activate their business continuity plans, he said.
"If they need assistance, they should contact our economic agencies who stand ready to assist."
READ: Malaysia bars citizens from going overseas, foreigners from entering country for 2 weeks to curb COVID-19 spread
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Monday night there would be a ban on Malaysians travelling overseas and on visitors entering the country under a restricted movement order imposed from Mar 18 to Mar 31.
Only shops selling essentials, including food stores and pharmacists, would be allowed to stay open, he said in a televised address.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia surged this week, _