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Matt Hancock appeals for an end to coronavirus panic buying on Question Time

Matt Hancock has appealed for an end to panic buying over the coronavirus saying there is ‘no need’.

The Health Secretary tried to reassure the public saying the government is ‘absolutely confident’ there will be no shortages of food or essential items.

The response came after he was challenged by a BBC Question Time audience member over empty supermarket shelves.

There are mounting fears of a major outbreak in the UK as the number of cases continues to grow. Experts have warned the virus is now being transmitted between Britons, with the government’s focus shifting to delaying the spread rather than preventing it altogether. 

On the programme last night, a woman voiced her concerns about the reaction, asking ‘how do we stop shortages by this?’ 

An audience member on Question Time raised the issue of panic buying

An audience member on Question Time raised the issue of panic buying

Matt Hancock last night

Matt Hancock last night

Matt Hancock (left) responded after he was challenged by an audience member (left) on the BBC’s flagship Question Time programme

On the programme last night, a woman voiced her concerns about the reaction, asking 'how do we stop shortages by this?'

On the programme last night, a woman voiced her concerns about the reaction, asking 'how do we stop shortages by this?'

On the programme last night, a woman voiced her concerns about the reaction, asking ‘how do we stop shortages by this?’

Supermarket shelves have been seen stripped of home cleaning products – the chief medical officer today said the virus can survive on hard surfaces for up to three days

Supermarket shelves have been seen stripped of home cleaning products – the chief medical officer today said the virus can survive on hard surfaces for up to three days

Supermarket shelves have been seen stripped of home cleaning products – the chief medical officer today said the virus can survive on hard surfaces for up to three days

Mr Hancock said: ‘There is absolutely no need for individuals to go around buying more than they need.

‘And in fact, part of the response of this has to be about us coming together.

‘Obviously, the very strong advice from the scientists, the medics, is that people should not go about buying more than they need.’

But the audience member responded that she had been to the supermarket before filming and ‘there was no dry pasta at all, no toilet rolls’.

However, the woman insisted that panic buying was really happening, saying she had been to the supermarket and found no dry pasta or toilet rolls. 

‘People are panic buying,’ she said. ‘There is no paracetamol that people can get.’

However, Mr Hancock replied: ‘I understand that but what I will say is the Government has supplies of the key things that are needed and within the food supply we are absolutely confident that there won’t be a problem there.

‘And crucially we are working with the supermarkets to make sure that if people are self-isolating then they will be able to get the food and supplies that the people need.’

On ITV’s This Morning. Boris Johnson insisted he will be guided by scientists – saying there will be a ‘balance’ between ‘draconian’ measures to limit the spread and keeping society functioning

Chopped tomatoes have flown off the shelves in a Tesco store. People have said they are setting up 'contingency plans' in case a disaster strikes in the UK

Chopped tomatoes have flown off the shelves in a Tesco store. People have said they are setting up 'contingency plans' in case a disaster strikes in the UK

Chopped tomatoes have flown off the shelves in a Tesco store. People have said they are setting up ‘contingency plans’ in case a disaster strikes in the UK

Shoppers across the country have continued to scoop up household goods such as hand soap and disinfectant, nappies and baby wipes, as well as dried foods like pasta and rice. 

Manufacturers have ramped up production and are working at ‘full capacity’ to ensure shelves can be re-stocked, while retailers are even considering rationing household essentials such as toilet paper in response to panic buying. 

The exchange on Question Time came after Boris Johnson took to the ITV This Morning sofa yesterday to try to reassure Britons over key supplied.

The PM said he had faith in the ability of the public to see the ‘balance of risk’ with the disease, and he hoped they would carry on with ‘business as usual’ despite the number of infections soaring into triple digits. 

Taking to the ITV This Morning sofa to reassure the country before the number of UK cases hit 116, Mr Johnson was asked if he could guarantee Britons will still be able to get food, and replied: ‘Yes.’ 

 

 

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Written by cerebralstudio626

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