Sydney Supermarket Shelves Emptied of Basic Items as Coronavirus Spreads

Shelves were emptied of basic items such as toilet paper, long-life food staples and some painkillers in major supermarkets at Rouse Hill, in Sydney’s west, on March 3, as the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus across Australia rose.

In this video, filmed at a Coles outlet in Rouse Hill, shelves normally containing toilet paper were empty, while other products such as paracetamol — which can be used to treat fevers — and basic food items like rice and pasta were also in short supply.

Both Coles and Woolworths, the largest supermarket chains in Australia, said they had increased deliveries to cope with the spike in demand for long-life food items and other household staples. Ongoing shortages of hand sanitiser were being reported across multiple retail networks.

As of March 3 Australia had 33 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 21 of those patients reported to have recovered from the virus. Credit: Chloe Webb via Storyful