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Toilet paper out of stock as Australia stockpiles during COVID-19 outbreak

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By Euronews
Toilet paper out of stock as Australia stockpiles during COVID-19 outbreak
Copyright  AFP
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Australia is running out of toilet paper -- and it's due to coronavirus.

As the virus continues to spread around the world, fear of contagion is spreading too, leading people to stock up on basic necessities such as tinned food and hygiene products.

In Australia, shoppers are focusing on stocking up on toilet paper, leading stores to impose restrictions.

Woolworths, Australia's biggest supermarket chain, has decided to limit the sale of toilet paper.

"This will help to consolidate stocks while suppliers increase production and deliveries to answer this high demand", Woolworths told Euronews in a statement.

"To make sure everyone has access to essential items," the statement went on, "we’ve introduced some common-sense limits to a few products. We’ve limited toilet paper to 4 packs per transaction."

The fear of running out of supplies is even causing trouble among shoppers: two men have fought in a supermarket over a toilet paper pack, with one attacking the store employee who tried to separate them, the Australian police confirmed.

The police had to use a taser to immobilise the man, they added.

Appropriately-named Australian toilet paper manufacturer Who Gives a Crap donate 50 per cent of their profits to help build toilets and improve sanitation in the developing world. And even they have run out.

On Thursday, a newspaper in Darwin, the capital city of Australia's Northern Territory, decided to poke some fun at the faecal frenzy.

Eight pages of the daily NT News newspaper were left blank, with clear lines to cut them in smaller pieces.

"Run out of loo paper?" the front page read. "You can use these pages in an emergency."

Australia has reported 55 cases of coronavirus as of Thursday.

One person died of coronavirus in Australia after having been infected on the "Diamond Princess" cruise.