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Coronavirus fears: Supermarket shelves left bare as shoppers rush to stock up on essentials

Supermarket aisles have been cleared of essential goods such as toilet paper, paracetamol, hand sanitiser and canned goods, as fearful shoppers rush to stock up amid fears of a major coronavirus outbreak in Australia.

At Coles in Mount Waverley the shelves are almost entirely cleared of toilet paper.

Meanwhile, at Coles in Mornington a sign in both English and Chinese has been put up notifying shoppers of a shortage of antibacterial hand wash products.

In the Bayside area there are shortages of popular items such as toilet paper and rice.

In Sydney the situation is the same.

In a statement sent to 3AW Mornings, Woolworths admitted there has been a rush on long life pantry items.

“We’ve seen an increase in demand for long life pantry items and household staples in recent days, which has led to partial stock shortages across some of our stores.

“Our teams have been working hard to replenish these products as quickly as possible.

“We have good stock levels to draw on in our distribution centres and will continue working closely with our suppliers to maintain supply.

“We apologise to customers for the inconvenience and thank them for their patience.”

Coles noted an antibacterial hand sanitiser shortage, but said there is no immediate risk to the supply of staple items.

“There is no immediate risk to essential groceries, and we are working with our suppliers to maintain availability for customers.

“However, we are currently experiencing a shortage of some antibacterial handwashes and hand sanitiser products due to high customer demand.”