Panic buying sweeps Australia again as brutal five-day lockdown is introduced

The Australian state of Victoria will enter a brutal five-day lockdown after officials found 13 new COVID case on Monday.

  • The new cases reportedly stemmed from a worker who became infected at a quarantine hotel at Melbourne Airport.
  • Premier Daniel Andrews announced a five-day lockdown from midnight on February 12 to February 17. 
  • Andrews commented: “Because this [new COVID strain] is so infectious and is moving so fast, we need a circuit breaker.” 
  • Immediately after the announcement, people began to panic shop as they rushed to supermarkets.

Victoria will enter lockdown for the third time as the nation tries to suppress and contain an outbreak of the UK strain of COVID.

Premier Daniel Andrews imposed a five-day lockdown after 13 new cases of the UK COVID strain were identified stemming from a worker at a quarantine hotel. Amid fears that the disease would spread, Andrews plunged the Australian state of Victoria into a lockdown from midnight on February 12 to February 17. Guaranteeing that the country will not run out of food and essential items, Andrews urged people not to panic shop:

You are allowed to go and shop. […] Supplies are adequate. There is no need to be doing any of that. […] You just put pressure on some of the hardest workers, some of the best Victorians, the people who are there driving the trucks from the distribution center to the supermarket, the people who are stacking the shelves. […] Let’s not make their job harder by hoarding six months’ worth of toilet paper.

Despite the Premier’s words, people rushed to the supermarkets.

According to the Daily Mail, shortly after Premier Andrews’ announcement, people raced to Coles and Woolworths in a state of panic. Stocking up on food and essential items, shoppers quickly emptied all of the shelves. As a result, product limits were put in place for high-demand items such as toilet paper, hand sanitizers, soaps, and certain food items. In response to the panic, Woolworths Victoria Assistant State Manager John Di Tirro said, “We encourage Victorians to be mindful of others in the community and to continue shopping as they usually would.” In addition to this, the supermarket tweeted:

Twitter quickly became flooded with images and videos of the chaos.

Premier Andrews believes the lockdown will be effective in containing the virus:

We will be able to smother this. We will be able to prevent it getting away from us […] I want to be here on Wednesday next week announcing that these restrictions are coming off, but I can’t do it on my own. I need every single Victorian to work with me.

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