The Malta Independent 8 April 2020, Wednesday

Coronavirus: Empty shelves, long queues as Maltese rush to supermarkets to stock up

Tuesday, 25 February 2020, 15:30 Last update: about 2 months ago

Many supermarkets today had to deal with a rush of customers stocking up food and drink as concern over the possible spread of Coronavirus – no cases have been reported in Malta as yet but reports that the disease has arrived in nearby Sicily prompted a haste to get prepared.

The Maltese government has so far limited itself to saying that all is under control, although doctors and nurses fail to agree on this, with the two unions saying that Malta is not at all prepared to deal with a situation should cases of Coronavirus – or COVID-19 – arrive in Malta.

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This morning, people went to supermarkets and bought all they could find, mostly preserved food and long-life products, perhaps thinking that a time will come when they will be confined to their own residences.

Many shelves ended up literally ransacked by customers, leaving them empty as supermarkets struggled to keep up with the influx of people as well as to replenish the shelves.

Such a situation had occurred when fears of the bird flu, more than a decade ago, had been prevalent among the Maltese.

Roads leading to popular supermarkets have also seen a heavy presence of cars with many reporting slow-moving traffic in these areas.

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