Victoria’s coronavirus cases spike has prompted a renewed wave of panic-buying, says Woolworths.
The supermarket giant will be restoring purchase limits on key products in the state’s stores. The fresh bid to keep shelves stocked comes just 10 days after the end of Woolworths’ restrictions prompted by coronavirus panic-buying were announced.
“Woolworths has reinstated a purchase limit of two items on toilet paper, hand sanitiser, paper towel, flour, sugar, pasta, mince, long-life milk, eggs and rice across its Victorian stores this afternoon,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The preventative move is in response to significantly elevated demand seen over the past 24 hours in certain parts of Melbourne. It will support social distancing in stores and ensure more customers have access to the products they need.”
Victoria coronavirus cases on the rise
Victoria announced 20 new cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday. Fear of the virus’s spread has increased with double-digit new cases being recorded in the state each day for over a week.
Eight of the 20 new Victorian coronavirus cases were reported as untraceable community transmissions. Dr Brett Sutton, Victoria’s chief health officer, said on Wednesday that was a positive sign, though.
“That number has been around 10 every day, but a decrease to eight is somewhat encouraging,” he said. “It certainly means we’re not getting an increase or an exponential increase in community transmission cases day by day.”
Sutton also announced a new Covid-19 fatality, bringing the nation’s pandemic total deaths to 103. The man in his 80s was the first coronavirus death recorded in Australia for about a month.
Military called in to help contain Victorian coronavirus spread
The military have been called on to help suppress the spread of the virus in Victoria. Over 300 Australian Defence Force personnel have been requested to help set up and assist testing clinics, as well as provide security at quarantining hotels, according to the ABC.
“The commonwealth departments of defence and health are working with Emergency Management Australia to expedite a request for assistance from Victoria after the state control team determines what support it requires,” an ADF spokesman said.
The sudden rise in Victoria’s coronavirus cases has prompted a pull-back on social restrictions easing. Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Saturday that some restrictions would be re-imposed in a bid to prevent a widespread outbreak in the state.