Stop hoarding: "We have enough" says Dutch PM

Empty shelves of toilet paper
Empty shelves of toilet paper as the spread of coronavirus raised fears of supply shortages and hoarding. March 13, 2020NL Times used with permission

Prime Minister Mark Rutte insisted that the people of the Netherlands stop hoarding because of the spread of coronavirus, and instead be more socially responsible and thus considerate of people in difficult situations. "We have enough food. There is no need to hoard," he said at his weekly scheduled press conference on Friday.

Rutte mentioned workers who were not able to remain home, like first responders, as one example. “It is very annoying for the people who work so hard for us. They get to the stores after work and see empty shelves," he said.

The supply on the shelves in grocery stores across the country has been dwindling. Just an hour after opening on Friday, an Albert Heijn in Amsterdam Oost was sold out of some fresh produce, all tinned tomatoes, most of its pasta stock, flour, and toilet paper.

Because of this, the prime minister called for more unity from everyone living in the country to get past a trying time. The Dutch government began imposing stricter rules on the entire country starting Thursday, in part to get more people to remain home and avoid crowds.

“The only way we get through this is if we do it together, keep an eye out for each other, and help each other when possible," he said.

Rutte also praised the people who have had to work away from home. "I can say from all people of the Netherlands: We appreciate it very much".

As of Friday, there were 804 patients diagnosed with the coronavirus in the Netherlands, of whom ten people have died.

Mark Rutte on coronavirus
Prime Minister Mark Rutte discusses hoarding, school closures, and flight bans during the coronavirus crisis. March 13, 2020RVD/Minister-PresidentFacebook
Rows of empty shelves which normally would hold potatoes and onions
Rows of empty shelves at an Albert Heijn which normally would hold potatoes and onions. March 13, 2020NL Times used with permission
Empty shelves at an Albert Heijn store in Amsterdam Oost, 13 March 2020
Empty shelves at an Albert Heijn store in Amsterdam Oost, 13 March 2020NL TimesNL Times

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