Friday, May 29, 2020 | Last Update : 03:53 AM IST

65th Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra56948179181897 Tamil Nadu185459909136 Delhi152577264303 Gujarat152057549938 Rajasthan79474566178 Madhya Pradesh72613927313 Uttar Pradesh69913991182 West Bengal41921578289 Andhra Pradesh3245213359 Bihar300680014 Karnataka249379347 Punjab2106191840 Telangana2098132163 Jammu and Kashmir192185426 Odisha16608877 Haryana138183818 Kerala10885558 Assam832884 Uttarakhand493794 Jharkhand4621914 Chandigarh3641894 Chhatisgarh364830 Tripura2421650 Himachal Pradesh223634 Goa68370 Puducherry49170 Meghalaya20121 Nagaland1800 Manipur540 Arunachal Pradesh210 Mizoram110 Sikkim100

Virus triggers 'panic purchase' in Australia

AFP
Published : Mar 4, 2020, 3:18 pm IST
Updated : Mar 4, 2020, 3:18 pm IST

Despite government assurances, there has been a run on some items at Australian supermarkets

Shelves are empty of toilet rolls in a supermarket in Sydney. AFP Photo
 Shelves are empty of toilet rolls in a supermarket in Sydney. AFP Photo

Sydney: Australia's biggest supermarket on Wednesday announced a limit on toilet paper purchases after the global spread of coronavirus sparked a spate of panic buying Down Under.

Woolworths said the restriction of four packs of toilet paper per person would apply "to ensure more customers have access to the products".

Hand sanitisers will also be sold from behind the service counter and restricted to two per person.

"It will help shore up stock levels as suppliers ramp up local production and deliveries in response to higher-than-usual demand," the company said in a statement.

Despite government assurances, there has been a run on some items at Australian supermarkets, with images on social media purportedly showing shelves stripped of goods and shoppers piling trolleys high with toilet paper.

Police had to be called to a Sydney supermarket at lunchtime Wednesday when a knife was drawn in a toilet paper aisle.

New South Wales Police confirmed officers went to the western Sydney supermarket but said there were no arrests and no injuries.

It is believed a knife was raised in the air by a startled hearing- and speech-impaired customer during a heated exchange over toilet rolls.

Retailers have also experienced shortages of masks and hand sanitisers sparked by fears over the deadly coronavirus outbreak, which has infected more than 90,000 people and killed more than 3,100.

The vast majority of cases have been in China, but South Korea, Italy and Iran have also emerged as hotspots.

Australia has reported 43 confirmed cases of the virus, including one death.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he had spoken to the country's two major supermarket chains -- Woolworths and its rival Coles -- about their response to panic buying.

"I can understand why people may be concerned, and go to supermarkets, and do those sorts of things. But the advice is that's not necessary," he told 2GB Radio on Wednesday.

Tags: coronavirus outbreak, covid 19, australia covid 19