Enough food for months, government assures

No need of hoarding and panic shopping, the Swiss government has reiterated. © Keystone/Goran Basic

The Swiss authorities say there are food stocks available to consumers for more than four months to cope with the current coronavirus epidemic. But rationing of certain painkiller and anti-fever drugs has been introduced.

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“There is no reason to panic over food,” the government’s delegate for national economic supply, Werner Meier, said in an interview published on Wednesday in various newspapers belonging to the CH Media group. 

The Swiss business sector, supported by the government, ensures that enough essential foodstuffs are stockpiled for times of crisis, according to Meier. Supermarkets and small retail shops had access to plenty of supplies to stock their shelves, he said. 

“We have no reports by retailers of shortages or bottlenecks,” Meier said. "Switzerland has closed its borders for people, but not for goods.”

He also said there are no plans at the moment to consider imposing rules on the industry for the production of essential goods.

Hoarding

Later on Wednesday, however, the government announced that it would begin rationing some common painkiller and anti-fever drugs to prevent panic buying.

The government said the restriction, which starts immediately and will run for the next six months, was not introduced due to a shortage of drugs.

Under the restriction each person will be allowed to buy only one package per day of certain drugs, including paracetamol and ibuprofen.

"The measure is aimed at preventing people from hoarding the drugs," said Daniel Koch from the Federal Health Office, told public television.

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