Supermarket shelves stripped bare due to coronavirus fears

Asda la vista! Supermarket shelves are stripped bare as panic-buying Britons race for essentials amid coronavirus chaos – after Tesco and other stores ration pasta, beans and hand gels

  • Asda stores have been stripped of products such as toilet rolls and cleaners
  • Long life food products were also purchased in droves over the weekend
  • Government previously urged people not to panic buy, but many took no notice 

The shelves of supermarkets have been left empty this weekend as paranoid shoppers pulled products from stores as the panic surrounding the coronavirus intensified. 

Pictures from one Asda store in London showed aisles that had been stripped of toilet roll after the Department of Health and Social Care this afternoon confirmed there were 273 positive cases of the virus across the country.

One Asda in Burgh Heath, Surrey, was left with a small selection of long life food products such as pasta and tinned fish after customers raced to the tills amid the chaos surrounding the virus.

Government officials earlier this week had urged people not to panic-buy, but scenes from across the country revealed many were taking no notice, and instead many decided to fill their trolleys to the brim with cleaning products, hand sanitisers and toilet rolls.

A shoppers wears a mask at an unspecified Asda store in London while walking through the store that has been left with hardly any supplies

One Asda store in Burgh Heath in Surrey (pictured above) was left with a short supply of pasta 

One Tesco store in London (above) was left without any spaghetti and revealed it was limiting purchases to five per customer

Tesco also introduced a limitation on the amount of toilet roll people could purchase 

A Waitrose store in London as also raided of toiletries today with shocking images showing completely empty shelves.

Last night Tesco started rationing the amount of pasta, baked beans and hand sanitiser per customer to stop shelves being stripped amid coronavirus fears. 

In a move to ensure the supermarket has enough supply, they have decided to limit the amount of dry pasta, UHT milk and baked bean tins that each customer can purchase. 

As well as the frequently purchased disaster goods, the store has decided to limit antibacterial gels, wipes, sprays and children’s cold medicine, Calpol.

Despite this, the shelves were still visibly empty today.

A total of 273 people in the UK have now tested positive for the coronavirus as of 9am this morning.

The Department of Health and Social Care this afternoon announced the rise of 62 cases. 

Tesco confirmed that shoppers would be limited to five items yesterday, adding that they would apply to online orders from today.  

Hoards of customers are seen at the back of this photo in the tinned mat aisle while others browse what is left of the cleaning section 

The decision comes after shoppers were seen stripping supermarket aisles bare across the country, with footage emerging of frantic stockpilers pushing trolleys piled high with toilet rolls and forming huge queues. 

The update comes as an expert microbiologist warned the deadly coronavirus outbreak could peak at Easter and last for six months – with millions set to be infected. 

As cases rise, footage has surfaced of frantic shoppers descending on UK stores to stock up on goods. 

This is while Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today admitted it is now a question of ‘when’ the UK will face a mass coronavirus outbreak – as she confirmed that experts fear a huge death toll in a ‘worst case’ scenario.

The Scottish First Minister stressed that most people who contract the illness will only suffer ‘mild’ symptoms.

But she accepted that the government was preparing for a 100,000 deaths. Asked reports of the figure in the Sunday Times, Ms Sturgeon told Sky News: ‘We’re looking at the scientific worst case scenarios right now… these kind of figures are very much worst case scenarios.’

She added that the government was looking to mitigate the impact on vulnerable people.

‘These kind of figures are broadly in terms of the worst case scenarios that we face,’ she said.

‘But they are not forecasts. They are not forecasts of what will necessarily happen.’

Ms Sturgeon said it was ‘inevitable’ that the health service will need more resources.

On moving to the ‘contain’ phase of UK reaction, Ms Sturgeon said: ‘It probably is a case of ‘when’ now.’

‘This is a serious situation, but the vast majority of people who get this virus will have very mild symptoms and recover reasonably quickly,’ she said.

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