Coronavirus: Shops run out of commodities as people panic buy

The first COVID-19 case was confirmed in Sheffield yesterday. Shoppers are emptying shelves amid the growing fear over the spread of Coronavirus.

Toilet rolls, tinned foods, pasta and hand sanitiser are high up among the products which have been in shortage.

Tesco metro in Sheffield has imposed restrictions on the number of bottled waters customers can buy, with a maximum of five per person.

At Boots in Sheffield City Centre, anti-bacterial gel, hand-wash, surgical spirit and wipes have been out of stock since last week. A shop assistant told ShefNews they would hopefully get some new deliveries within the next week.

Lisa Burns, 35, said she has “a mass stock” in her cupboard.

“ Shopping is the only way that I feel I could take control at this time. The world is mad now, everyone I know is stocking up.

“ To be honest, I’m literally scared. Especially when WHO just announced it to be a worldwide ‘pandemic’.

“ I would get prepared in advance, just in case shops close down later.”

Kingsley Wong, 32, shop floor manager at KH Oriental Supermarket, in which instant food quickly ran out last week, said he totally understood people’s behaviour on stockpiling.

“ The government has suggested we stock up for two weeks, and fully prepare for what may come in the way.

“ But I feel some of them are getting too anxious. I haven’t seen any hand sanitiser and spray being replenished this week.

“Except for that, our food supply chain is quite stable at the moment.”

PM Boris Johnson appealed to everyone to take responsibility and consider others. He said there’s no reason to stockpile as he was confident about the supply chain.

UK Health Department listed some precautions:

  • Wash your hands for more than 20 seconds
  • Use a tissue to cough
  • Do not touch your face with your hands

Written by Yanwen Wang

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