TAIPEI (CNA) — Local manufacturers of instant noodles and toilet paper have pledged to boost production amid public fears of shortages of basic household items due to the new coronavirus outbreak, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs on Saturday.
The ministry said in a Facebook post that during a meeting with the manufacturers Saturday, they pledged to run their production lines around the clock for the next two weeks to meet a surge in demand.
Participating instant noodle providers included Uni-President and Wei Lih Food Industrial Co., while toilet paper suppliers included YFY Inc., Cheng Loong Corp. and Golden Century Paper, the ministry said.
Taiwan has seen a panic run on food and basic household items — with toilet paper at the top of the list — after the number of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus surged above 100 earlier this week.
Local supermarkets have had to limit customers to one pack of toilet paper per person to prevent their shelves from being immediately emptied.
The ministry said toilet paper stocks are sufficient to meet basic demand, but it asked people to stop hoarding the commodity to keep supermarket workers from becoming exhausting from having to constantly restock shelves.
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) took to Facebook on Thursday to assure the public that there will be no food shortages, telling people to spend as much as they can on food and even toilet paper because “you can’t buy everything.”
“Buy as much as possible. There is plenty of supply,” Su said, noting that the government has a 900,000 metric tons of food in stock and that Taiwan has so much toilet paper capacity that production had to be capped at 60 percent of capacity to avoid waste.