Coronavirus: Brawl over toilet paper in Sydney supermarket

A row broke out over a pack of toilet rolls

Police in Australia have urged shoppers not to panic buy during the coronavirus outbreak after a row over loo paper turned violent in a Sydney supermarket.

Footage on social media showed a group of women arguing and fighting in an aisle over a pack of toilet rolls.

Staff had to intervene to separate the customers and police were called.

Following the incident, officers told the public to refrain from panic buying, saying: "It's not the Thunderdome, it's not [the movie] Mad Max, we don't need to do that."

The shelves of many supermarkets in Australia have been stripped bare as consumers stockpile goods such as canned items, frozen dinners and cleaning products, and some shops restrict toilet roll to one pack person.

It comes amid concerns they would be forced to self-isolate as the virus continues to spread.

Acting Inspector Andrew New said of the supermarket brawl: "Officers from Bankstown police station attended and spoke to a 49-year-old woman, who had reportedly been assaulted.

"She was uninjured. No arrests have been made and as inquiries continue, police are appealing for public assistance to identify the other women involved."

He added: "At this point in time we just ask that people don't panic like this when they go out shopping, there's no need for it.

"It's not the Thunderdome, it's not Mad Max, we don't need to do that."

Two people have died in Australia after contracting COVID-19 , the disease caused by coronavirus .

A 78-year-old man, who was evacuated from the virus-infected Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan, died in a hospital in Perth, and a 95-year-old woman died in a hospital in northern Sydney.

There have been at least 63 infections in the country.

Also in Australia, a family mistakenly ordered 48 boxes of toilet paper online instead of 48 rolls.

That worked out at 2,304 rolls and Haidee Janetzki, from southern Queensland, said she felt "gobsmacked, confused and like a bit of an idiot" over the accidental purchase.

The family has decided to sell some boxes in a fundraiser at the same price at which they bought them.

In the UK, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the government is working with supermarkets to ensure food supplies as the number of people self-isolating with the virus continues to rise.

He sought to reassure the public following panic buying in some areas, saying the government is "working to make sure that if people are self isolating, they will be able to get the food and supplies that they need".

He added there was "absolutely no need" for individuals "to go round buying more than they need".