Shoppers the world are embarking panic buying sprees because fears over the coronavirus. People countries as far afield as England, Japan, Singapore and Australia have been emptying supermarket shelves toilet paper, face masks, hand sanitiser and dried and canned food. Governments have advised their citizens that there is no need to "panic buy". They added that panic buying would only reduce the supply products needed medical staff and carers, which could exacerbate the problems the COVID-19 virus is causing. Footage shoppers in Australia brawling the last pack of toilet roll in a supermarket has gone viral social media.
Psychologists say panic buying is an "irrational" behaviour that is part a condition called FOMO - the fear missing . Dr Katharina Wittgens said a herd mentality sets during disasters that causes people to copy the actions of others. People watch the news of items being bought bulk and immediately rush to the stores to do the same. She said people were overestimating the risks dying from the coronavirus. She said: "Far more people die car accidents or household accidents per year but we don't panic about these things the morning before we go to work." Singapore's prime minister reassured Singaporeans that: "We have ample supplies. There's no need to stock ."