To dispel rumours of supply shortages, Hazard Management Cayman Islands has confirmed that freight ships carrying food supplies and household products continue to arrive on island as normal.

Simon Boxall, deputy director of Hazard Management, said that panic buying is not necessary and the supply of goods remain strong and steady.

Port Authority Director Joseph Woods said four cargo ships are due to arrive in the Cayman Islands over the next few days.

“The cargo ships are operating on schedule. We have two tonight [Thursday] and one each on Saturday and Sunday nights,” Woods said.

Tropic Jade and Seaboard Sun cargo ships are scheduled to arrive today, the Rebecca VII will arrive Friday, and the Cari Legend on Saturday.

Consumers in Grand Cayman have been snapping up certain household products, including cleaning and disinfectant items, toilet paper, tissues, hand sanitiser, and canned foods, temporarily leaving some store shelves bare.

“Residents should be aware that stocks of almost all products are normal and ships with more products are en route as we speak,” Boxall said.

Cayman supermarkets and suppliers in the United States have confirmed that supplies will continue to come in as usual, although there is a decrease in the supply of masks and hand sanitisers.

“But even these items continue to arrive on Island, though in slightly smaller quantities, because global demand is currently so high,” Boxall said.

Foster’s urges ‘calm’, limits certain products to 1-4 per customer

Meanwhile, Foster’s issued a statement Thursday morning, assuring its customers that, despite being temporarily out of stock on certain high-demand items, as shown on photos and a video circulating on social media, it was working with suppliers to bump up orders and purchase what is available “while searching for new sources and product alternatives where needed”.

The company’s marketing senior manager, Julian Foster, said, “We are, however, experiencing some temporary shortages on health and sanitation products like face masks, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and sprays, and isopropyl alcohol, among other products, which are in high demand around the world. During these unprecedented times, manufacturers and suppliers are working to ramp up production and ordering to ensure product is available.”

He said, because of the demand, the company, which runs Foster’s and Priced Right, was limiting the number of certain products each customer can buy. Product limits have been placed on disinfecting products, bleach and vinegar.

“The limits, ranging from 1-4 products per person … are clearly marked on store shelves” and on the store’s website, Foster said. Updates to the product list will be made when changes occur and the information will be shared on social media, he added.

The company’s managing director, Woody Foster, said the stores were “fully stocked on food items and have been assured that our suppliers, both locally and overseas, have product on hand to ship”.

He added, “Our warehouse is fully stocked, and while we may still see temporary out of stocks on products, we’ve increased orders where we need to on critical, shelf stable products.”

The statement from Foster’s added that the company was in regular contact with local police, port and government authorities.

“We ask that the community remain calm, think rationally and use proper hygiene practices throughout the day,” the company stated.

Full Coverage: Coronavirus

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