Australia limiting toilet paper because of coronavirus

Reuters reports that Australia's major grocers have put strict limits on purchases of toilet paper after a rush of panic buying related to the coronavirus, emptied shelves.

 The country has 41 reported cases of the coronavirus with the bulk of those evacuees from a cruise ship docked in Japan and just three cases of local transmission, where people who have not left the country were infected.

Still, social media has been inundated in recent days with #toiletpapergate and #toiletpapercrisis along with photos and videos of people stockpiling goods, including sanitizing products and staples like rice and eggs. Australia's Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said, "We are trying to reassure people that removing all of the lavatory paper from the shelves of supermarkets probably isn't a proportionate or sensible thing to do at this time."

Even Prime Minister Scott Morrison says that he is surprised on the purchasing trend that appears to be at odds with stockpiling of long-lasting food like tinned goods in other countries. "I have been assured by the major grocers that they could meet any spike in demand, but I don't know that any of us expected it to be toilet paper".

Australia's largest grocer Woolworth's has limited sales to four packs per shopper while suppliers ramp up production. Costco now limiting limited people to one bulk buy pack each.

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