Some store shelves in the UK, Australia, the Czech Republic and South Korea are beginning to empty as coronavirus panic buying increases and people begin to hoard products.
As we previously highlighted, Italy experienced panic buying at some supermarkets in affected regions after hundreds of people were infected with coronavirus in just a few days.
Now similar concerns are leading to empty shelves in other countries around the world.
In the UK, supermarkets in the town of Cheltenham all ran out of antibacterial hand gel.
“Tesco in Tewkesbury Road, Sainsbury’s in Gallagher Retail Park and Morrisons in Up Hatherley have all got empty space where the antibacterial hand gel should be,” reports Gloucestershire Live.
It’s a similar situation in Sydney, Australia, where shelves have been stripped of medicine and toilet paper. Longer lasting food supplies are also running out.
Customers were greeted with near empty aisles when they arrived at the supermarket giant’s Bondi store in Sydney on Thursday night,” reports the Daily Mail. “The grocery store appeared to be struggling to keep the shelves stocked with paracetamol, toilet paper, tea, milk, pasta, oats and rice crackers.”
Meanwhile, in South Korea, “mass hoarding” of instant noodles led to manufacturer Nongshim’s warehouse sitting empty.
“People nationwide are rushing to buy hand sanitizers, instant noodles and rice amid growing fears that the coronavirus will become a global pandemic and could lead to grocery shortages,” reports the Korea Times.
People in the Czech. Republic are also emptying supermarket shelves over concerns the coronavirus is about to cause shortages. Customers are buying bottled water, cooking oil, flour, meat and canned food.
We sold a weekly quantity in two days,” said one supermarket spokesperson.
“Rice, pasta, canned food, frozen food, but also all disinfectants, baby food, and drinks are sold out,” reports Prague Morning, adding that the Deputy Mayor of Prague Petr Hlubucek is considering imposing purchasing controls.
Meanwhile, borders across Europe remain completely open even as the virus continues to accelerate towards a potential global pandemic.