Amid coronavirus outbreak, the supermarket shelves across Australia are being left empty as people are worried that they may contract the deadly disease. Several Australians are stocking up on the essentials like toilet paper, hand sanitiser, bottled water, pasta and rice in case they become infected. A netizen even took to Twitter to share images of the entire aisles being swiped.
Today I went into my local Coles, I couldn’t believe the stockpiling happening. No long-life milk, toilet paper, rice, pasta & hardly any medicines, minimal lentils & canned tomatoes. You get the feeling people felt quite anxious after seeing these empty shelves. #coronavirus pic.twitter.com/LhHzT6NbWt— chris ledlin (@chrisledlin) March 2, 2020
Coles, the Australian supermarket store, also released a statement that promised that the emptied aisles would be restocked as quickly as possible. The supermarket store has reportedly even increased the number of deliveries to store this week the improve the availability of popular products, including long-life pantry staples and health care items. According to international media reports, the statement further read that the store is also continuing to work with its suppliers to maintain availability for customers.
As per reports, Australia has reported nearly 34 confirmed coronavirus cases. The first Australian has also been confirmed dead from the virus after they were on board the Diamond Princess. The Australian health officials have reportedly warned against buying in bulk at supermarkets.
Australian Medical Association president Dr Tony Bartone, while speaking to an international media outlet said that there is no reason to go out and panic buy. 15 of the 34 detected cases in Australia have reportedly also since recovered and the remaining are listed as in stable condition.
Australia has reportedly “warned” its citizens not to travel to Iran amid surging cases of the coronavirus in its territory, most cases linked to Iran. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) announced on February 29, that foreign nationals travelling from Iran need to quarantine in another country before entering Australia, as per reports.
Effective Sunday, March 1, the measure requires the Australian citizens, permanent residents, and immediate families to isolate themselves for at least 14 days in case of flu-like or chronic illness symptoms upon entering Australia from abroad. According to the reports, DFAT also extended travel restrictions against the Chinese nationals with the exception of returning Australians citizens. It, however, said that the policy will be revised basis the situation analysis before Friday, March 6. Australia's Chief Medical Officer issued an advisory stating that there was a high level of concern about the spread COVID-19 due to transmission from returning citizens from Iran.