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Australia supermarket shelves empty again due to virus panic

Some shelves are empty in supermarkets in Sydney after panic buying.

Australian shoppers flocked to supermarkets across Sydney on Saturday (March 14) to stock up on supplies as the spread of coronavirus sparked more panic-buying.

To prevent shoppers around the country from further stripping supermarket shelves of staples, Australia's major grocers Woolworths Group and Coles have put limits on purchases of some routine grocery items, such as pasta, paper towels, toilet paper and rice.

The demand for toilet paper, in particular sparked the trending hashtags #toiletpapergate and #toiletpapercrisis on Twitter. Baffled officials have called for calm.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday (March 13) called for an end from Monday to all non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people, including sporting and cultural events, and urged people to reconsider overseas trips. Ahead of the ban on big gatherings, the Australian Formula One Grand Prix, scheduled for this weekend, was cancelled.

(Source: Reuters)

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