Talking to reporters after visiting NTUC FairPrice's Benoi Distribution Centre on March 7, Minister Chan said that with a worldwide spike, an increase in the number of cases infected with the acute respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) in Singapore is predictable.

A supermarket in Singapore. (Photo for illustration:

He stressed the need for the country to continuously adapt its supply chain strategies to ensure sufficient supplies.

"As the rest of the world has more and more cases, we can kind of expect there'll be more disruption to our global supply chain.

"That requires us to re-examine how much we must stockpile and at the same time re-examine which are the places we can continuously diversify so we can keep the supplies coming. That's the ongoing work every day," he explained.

Singaporean businesses are stepping up the diversification of supplies to better deal with the spread of the disease.

NTUC FairPrice group CEO Seah Kian Peng said that inventories are being built up for certain essential items such as rice, canned food and biscuits.

By the end of March 8, Singapore recorded 150 COVID-19 cases, of whom 60 are being treated and 90 are discharged from hospital.

Source: VNA