Alarmed consumers thronged markets across Africa on Tuesday, many in masks and gloves, to stock up as the coronavirus spread on the world’s poorest continent. For many poorer Africans focused on surviving day-to-day, panic-buying was a privilege they could not join in with. The trade ministry in Rwanda, which has seven confirmed coronavirus cases, fixed prices late on Monday for 17 food items including rice, sugar and cooking oil. But it did not specify punishments for price-gouging. Within minutes, shoppers at the upscale Carrefour supermarket near the United Nations complex in Nairobi began piling trolleys with wipes, sanitizer, and staples like rice and long-life milk. From South Africa to Senegal, long lines snaked outside stores as families stocked up on essential health and food items from disinfectants to pasta.
SOURCE: REUTERS AFRICA