By ALEC SMART
Toilet paper, dried foodstuffs and essential items are being hoarded again across NSW in anticipation of a ‘second wave’ of Covid-19 infections, despite there only being 5 new infections in the state’s population of 7.544 million during the past fortnight. Most of them were overseas travellers returning to Australia who are now in quarantine.
Victoria, however, has recorded at least 33 new coronavirus cases, 30 in the past 24 hours, meaning the state has seen double-digit increases for ten consecutive days.
Of those, 10 were foreign travellers (now in hotel quarantine) and 9 were linked to outbreaks attributed by state health authorities to “various household parties and gatherings”. Among the new cases were two young children at separate early learning centres.
According to the Victorian Dept. of Health & Human Services: “Of the 33 new cases, nine cases are linked to outbreaks, ten were detected in hotel quarantine, six were identified through routine testing, and eight remain under investigation… Of the total 1,917 cases, there have been 1,602 in metropolitan Melbourne and 241 in regional Victoria. Several cases remain under investigation.. Seven people are in hospital, including two patients in intensive care.. The State of Emergency has been extended until 11.59pm on 19 July.”
Loo paper hoarders restricted
Meanwhile, after multiple reports of customers hoarding essential provisions across NSW, and stripping shelves of toilet paper, on 26 June Woolworths announced it will reintroduce a limit of 2 packets per customer throughout its nationwide stores. Coles also said it would reintroduce a limit of one-pack-per-customer, in addition to restrictions on flour, sugar and paper towels.
Woolworths Supermarkets managing director Claire Peters said: “We’ve regrettably started to see elevated demand for toilet roll move outside Victoria in the past 24 hours.
“While the demand is not at the same level as Victoria, we’re taking preventative action now to get ahead of any excessive buying this weekend and help maintain social distancing in our stores.
“We have ordered more than 650,000 additional packs of toilet roll into our network, which is an increase of more than 30 per cent on our usual volumes.”