As countries aim to control the spread of the coronavirus, individuals worldwide have been panic buying in an effort to have enough food to survive on if they should have to self-isolate for 14 days. In Australia, where people have been panic-buying toilet paper for weeks now, police have been ordered to patrol supermarkets in an effort to curb such behavior, according to Nine News Australia.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the initial rush to stock up on this resource likely occurred from the misconception that the majority of toilet paper was made in China. However, 60 percent of the product is actually made locally. Regardless, as fears escalated, panic buying continued and it is still difficult for many Australians to purchase the item.
With emotions soaring, many reports of violence in varying degrees have been reported. These included footage that has since gone viral, showing two Australian women involved in a brawl over the elusive toilet paper.
Because of this, supermarkets in Australia have enforced strict limits on items such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and pet food, among many other products. As anger over shortages escalates, though, law enforcement has been forced to make their presence felt in these situations.
— Ellenbrook Police (@EllenbrookPol) March 17, 2020
NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Jeff Loy has assured Australians that bad behavior would not be tolerated and the police presence will be used to help make shopping safer for all involved.
“Despite these unprecedented circumstances, we are working hard to maintain a sense of normality for the wider community,” he said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison also spoke out about the recurring issue of panic buying during the coronavirus pandemic.
“It is not sensible, it is not helpful and, I’ve got to say, it has been one of the most disappointing things I have seen in Australian behavior in response to this crisis,” he said during a speech yesterday.
“There is no reason for people to be hoarding supplies from fear of a lockdown or anything like this.”
Additionally, major chain supermarkets have also issued statements via a series of newspaper advertisements calling for Australians to cease their panic-buying ways.
“We understand your concerns, but if you buy only what you need and stick to the product limits it helps everyone, especially the elderly and people with disability,” one of the ads read.
While it has been reported that there are no shortfalls in supplies, it seems likely that Australian residents will continue to suffer delayed deliveries as hysteria over the coronavirus remains at high levels.