'Lining up for tissue paper': Video captures panic buying in Hong Kong


Posted at Feb 09 2020 03:50 PM | Updated as of Feb 09 2020 04:07 PM

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MANILA - The wave of panic buying in Hong Kong, where 26 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus (2019 nCoV) have so far been recorded, was captured in a video Sunday by a Filipino working in the Chinese special administrative region.

The video, shared by the migrant worker based in Hong Kong's New Territories district, showed a long line of people who, according to her, want to purchase tissue papers in one shop.

The Filipino worker, who requested anonymity, also disclosed that some of her fellow household workers are already being prevented by their employers to go out on their rest days.

Hong Kong recorded the second novel coronavirus-related fatality outside of mainland China. The first was in the Philippines.

More than 800 people have so far died from the new virus strain, and over 37,000 cases of infection have been reported, mainly in China where the outbreak originated. Many other countries have also reported confirmed cases.

In the last week, the Hong Kong's supermarket shelves were frequently emptied of staple goods such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer, rice and pasta.

Similar scenes were seen in Singapore on Saturday as shoppers cleared grocery store shelves after the city-state, which has 33 confirmed cases, raised its alert level over the virus.

China has expanded its own measures, with cities far from Hubei telling residents that only one person per household can leave the house every two days to buy supplies.

--With Agence France-Presse