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Two of Hong Kong’s largest shopper retail chains have began rationing some meals and drug gadgets to curb panic shopping for that has plagued the town over the previous week amid fears of a citywide lockdown as Covid-19 cases soar.

Grocery store chain ParknShop on Friday introduced limits of 5 gadgets per buyer on staples equivalent to rice, canned meals and bathroom paper whereas pharmacy Watsons put the identical limits on treatment for ache, fever and colds, Hong Kong media reported.

On Wednesday, ParknShop introduced shorter opening hours, with a few of its 200 branches shutting at 3 pm – by which era many outlets throughout the Asian monetary hub have been stripped of contemporary and frozen meat and greens in current days.

Each ParknShop and Watsons are items of the Hong Kong listed conglomerate, CK Hutchison. Hong Kong officers have repeatedly urged individuals towards panic shopping for this week, saying provides had been ample.

Amid public complaints of confused official messaging, Hong Kong chief govt Carrie Lam has mentioned her authorities had no plan for a “full lockdown” whereas it plots compulsory testing of the town’s 7.4 million residents.

The federal government would announce particulars of the plan when finalised, she mentioned.

Authorities reported a brand new day by day report of 56,827 new infections and 144 deaths on Thursday, an exponential rise from about 100 in early February.

The surge in circumstances and fears over a lockdown have sparked mass departures of individuals from the town, the place authorities are clinging to a “dynamic zero” coverage that seeks to eradicate all outbreaks.

Many eating places and outlets are shuttered, whereas its Central monetary district is eerily quiet and few individuals are out in usually bustling neighbourhoods.

Highlighting rising public frustration, outstanding businessman and authorities adviser Allan Zeman mentioned on Tuesday that Hong Kong’s worldwide popularity had been “very broken” and alarm had been created by the complicated messages.

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