Coronavirus sparks grocery panic with baby items ‘sold out everywhere’


Parents are struggling to get hold of essential baby items as coronavirus “panic buying” sweeps Australia.

A shortage of the baby milk formulas as well as other essential childcare items such as nappies, wipes and hand sanitiser are being reported in supermarkets by worried mums and dads.

Some have expressed major fears online, claiming it’s “almost impossible” to snag the baby items as they are “sold out everywhere” as people rush to stock up in a bid to protect themselves from the deadly COVID-19 virus.

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RELATED: Coronavirus panic buying frenzy hits supermarkets

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media_cameraWorried parents are reporting a shortage of baby supplies as fears of a coronavirus pandemic sweeps Australia. Picture: Facebook

“We use sanitiser regularly for hand washing before doing our sons tube feeds and my god trying to get some the other night as well as nappies and baby wipes EVERYWHERE was sold out,” one worried mum wrote on Facebook.

“For us this is a major a concern as our 3yr old has an immune deficiency and the Coronavirus would kill him,” one mum said.

“I’ve not been able to find baby wipes anywhere,” another added.

The same sentiments were echoed on Twitter, with parents revealing some Woolworths and Coles stores were stripped bare of nappies and baby formula.

RELATED: $3 item stripped from shelves in ‘panic’

Woolworths confirmed the situation to news.com.au — explaining there was a an “increased demand for baby care products over the weekend, which led to temporary stock shortages across some of our stores”.

“We have good stock levels to draw on in our distribution centres and our teams have been working hard to replenish products as quickly as possible,” the spokesperson added.

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

Coles however have urged shoppers not to worry, reassuring any concerned shoppers they are increasing deliveries on popular products.

“Coles has increased the number of deliveries to stores this week to improve availability on popular products, such as long-life pantry staples and healthcare items,” a spokesperson told news.com.au.

“Coles is committed to ensuring our customers have access to infant formula.

Thanks to a recent improvement in supply, we have increased sales quantities to four units per customer. Where formula is unavailable on the shelf, we encourage customers to speak with their local store manager.”

The news of baby product shortages comes just days after the a2 Milk Company revealed the company had benefited from the coronavirus outbreak in China, stating sales of the baby formula had spiked as consumers stockpiled essential items.

China label sales are above expectation in February, just as our English label is,” interim boss Geoff Babidge told The Australian Financial Review.

It’s not the only sought-after item in Australia amid the virus fears, with shoppers reporting panic buying is stripping shelves of toilet paper, bottled water and hand sanitiser.

Essential foodstuffs like bread, flour and rice, as well as canned beans and tomatoes, pasta, pasta sauce and water were flying off shelves as fears a COVID-19 pandemic is about to hit Australia.

Empty shelves at Coles in the Perth suburb of Claremont after a panic buying session swept through the store on Saturday.pacific.epeak.in/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Coronavirus-sparks-grocery-panic-with-baby-items-‘sold-out-everywhere’.webp”/>
media_cameraEmpty shelves at Coles in the Perth suburb of Claremont after a panic buying session swept through the store on Saturday.
Toilet paper, crammed into a Perth shopper's trolley, is being stockpiled by people panicked by the coronavirus. Picture: Seven Newspacific.epeak.in/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/1583111296_833_Coronavirus-sparks-grocery-panic-with-baby-items-‘sold-out-everywhere’.webp”/>
media_cameraToilet paper, crammed into a Perth shopper’s trolley, is being stockpiled by people panicked by the coronavirus. Picture: Seven News

Over the weekend at a Coles supermarket in Claremont WA, a crowd of shoppers fought to grab supplies of hand sanitiser, toilet paper, tinned food and bottled water and cram them into trolleys.

Emptied shelves in the toilet paper section of Coles in the Perth suburb of Claremont.pacific.epeak.in/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/1583111296_769_Coronavirus-sparks-grocery-panic-with-baby-items-‘sold-out-everywhere’.webp”/>
media_cameraEmptied shelves in the toilet paper section of Coles in the Perth suburb of Claremont.

Photographs of the store afterwards showed empty aisles and bare shelves and shoppers reported being intimidated by others pushing in and seizing items.

The situation is predicted to worsen as Australia recorded its first coronavirus fatality, after a man who was in a Perth hospital died on Sunday morning.

Last week, supermarkets and chemists were “stripped bare” of hand sanitiser, with one brand telling news.com.au they had “sold out” completely and were struggling to keep up with demand.

One person described how Australians were in a ‘panic’ over the virus and stockpiling the antibacterial gel. Picture: Facebookpacific.epeak.in/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/1583111298_572_Coronavirus-sparks-grocery-panic-with-baby-items-‘sold-out-everywhere’.webp”/>
media_cameraOne person described how Australians were in a ‘panic’ over the virus and stockpiling the antibacterial gel. Picture: Facebook

The situation is predicted to worsen as Australia recorded its first coronavirus fatality, after a man who was in a Perth hospital died on Sunday morning.

It has wreaked havoc with the global economy and now it has been warned that Australia is one of the nation’s most at-risk.

The virus has now spread to 33 new countries in the past nine days – bringing the total number of affected countries to more than 60.

The world death toll is 3001, with the total global cases reaching 88,369 as of Monday morning according to Worldometers.

Continue the conversation @RebekahScanlan | rebekah.scanlan@news.com.au

Originally published as Extreme panic buying hits Australia





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