A customer checks in his groceries at JTA Supermarket at C3 in Ste Madeleine yesterday.

Scores of people turned up at supermarkets across the country as the latest round of panic buying triggered by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announcement that the country will enter a new level of isolation from midnight Sunday.

When a Guardian Media team visited the Pricesmart Membership Club’s Port-of-Spain branch yesterday afternoon, a quick peek inside suggested there was barely any room for people to navigate their shopping carts.

Social distancing, one of the main measures for preventing the spread of the virus appeared to have gone out the window as scores of people were seen jostling to get their hand on essential items. Among the mountain of products being trolleyed away were cases of water, canned food items and pampers.

Outside was just as chaotic as the carpark to the supermarket was filled, people buzzing by remarked that earlier in the day there were not even enough trolleys.

One person said they had waited over an hour and a half just to cash their items.

There was also a mad rush at Pricesmart, Mausica, yesterday as customers turned up in their hundreds to buy groceries and other items.

Long lines of people waited to get inside to make purchases.

In Chaguanas, there was no rush by a stream of customers at four major supermarkets in the heart of the borough.

Dollar Value in Montrose reported no noticeable increase, and it was the same at Massy Stores in Mid Centre Mall. A security officer at Price Club Supermarket said after the announcement there was a bit of a spike in customers but nothing major.

He also said this was limited also by the measures the store has taken to limit the number of people allowed in the store at the same time. At Xtra Foods along the Chaguanas Main Road, the manager on duty explained that he hadn’t witnessed any panic buying at his location, but added that he got information that there was an increase in shoppers at other branches.

Additionally, checks to the two gas stations along the main road showed a regular number of people filling fuel in their vehicles.