Photo Bombi Mavundza/Business Insider South Africa
Limited stock in hand sanitiser and hand wash in Pick n Pay. Photo Bombi Mavundza/Business Insider South Africa
  • Supermarkets in the UK are putting limits on the number of key household items and food staples that people can buy after a wave of coronavirus-related panic buying.
  • One in ten people in the UK has already started panic buying, the Retail Gazette reported, citing a recent survey of 30 retailers in the country.
  • This is despite chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance advising last week that there is "absolutely no reason" to stockpile during the coronavirus crisis.
  • The number of cases in the UK jumped to 280 on Monday morning, recording its largest-ever overnight increase so far. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is chairing a crisis-response meeting.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Supermarkets in the UK have placed a limit on the number of key food staples and household items shoppers can buy after shelves were emptied in coronavirus-related panic buying, according to multiple reports.

Hand sanitiser, antibacterial gels and sprays, handwash, dried pasta, long-life milk, and some tinned vegetables are among the items that supermarkets are limiting, ITV News reported.

One in ten people in the UK has been stockpiling basic goods, according to a survey of 30 retailers by Retail Economics reported by the Retail Gazette on Wednesday.

This is despite the UK's chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance saying Tuesday that there is "absolutely no reason" to stockpile goods during the coronavirus crisis.

Supermarkets Asda, Waitrose, and Tesco, as well as pharmacist Boots, have nonetheless placed limits on hand sanitisers, with the majority limiting them to two per person on both online and in-store purchases, ITV News said.Tesco, the UK's largest supermarket chain, has also restricted buyers to a maximum of five on some food items, and has sold out of dried pasta online, according to ITV News.

A spokesman for the government told the BBC that it is in touch with supermarkets to "discuss their response" to the virus.

However, Dr Andrew Potter, chair in logistics and and transport at Cardiff Business School, said that despite the shortages, supply chains are generally robust and shelves should "replenish" soon.

"The supply chain will start to deliver stuff through to the stores and hopefully this shortage - which is fairly short-term - will clear and everything will be back to normal again," he told the BBC.The number of cases in the UK jumped to 280 on Monday morning, recording an overnight increase of 63 - its largest-ever so far.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to discuss the outbreak in a meeting with crisis-response committee COBRA.

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