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Panic on the streets of London as shoppers cram trolleys following rise in Coronavirus infections


Juliet Chowdhry (bottom left) can be seen buying a tea urn, plastic boxes and one package of Kitchen rolls for our homeless feeding centre.

Panic has set into the people of London, as concerns about the spread of Coronavirus has stimulated a wave of hoarders. Last night in the London Borough of Redbridge, shops through the borough were missing many regular produce.

At the Goodmayes Tesco branch, shelves could be seen to be bereft of any tissues, rice, chapatti flour, pasta, sanitizers and medicines such as paracetamol and cough/flu remedies. Whereas Lidl and Farm Foods in Ilford town centre were exhibiting bold-large-type posters warning shoppers that they had no tissues. The same empty shelves could be seen in small local grocers and other high street supermarkets throughout the borough.

Today in Costco Walthamstow, queues of shoppers could be seen waiting for hours as they stock up on food and cleaning essentials. 

No fights broke out in any of the stores mentioned, but patience is running thin for many tired  people. Even people who are more sensible about the current COVID-19 situation are being forced to reciprocate the panic-buying, because of fear they will miss out.

Costco management have taken a sensible approach to controlling the situation, by restricting certain purchases like tissues to one per membership, and should be praised for this.

All the industrial tissue-rolls are gone.

It has been reported this morning, that there have now been 373 confirmed cases of Coronavirus, 6 of those infected have died and a further 8 people are in critical condition. 

Juliet Chowdhry, a BACA Trustee, who was stuck in one of the shopping queues, whilst purchasing food for our Homeless feeding centre, said:

"This panic buying makes no sense.

"People need to be reassured by the Government and health organisations.

"Coronavirus in its current strain will not kill most of us - it is the vulnerable we have to be wary for.

"We are more likely to be infected if we get caught in large queues like these - our communities need to regain their patience and passion for others.

"People simply need to regain a sense of perspective and not cram-purchase.

"I am not worried about going through a rough ill period myself, I am more worried about becoming a carrier responsible for killing others.

"Sensible buying allows everyone to get the medicines, cleaning products and food necessary for us all to collectively maintain healthy communities.

'The thoughtless hoarding of many will leave others vulnerable and inevitably, result in the hoarders being infected by those they left bereft.

"This makes no sense."

She added: 

"We will continue to feed the homeless visitors who come to our Thursday feeding centre - till told otherwise.

"Advice is being sought via the Homeless lead in our UK Government and the Redbridge Homeless lead.

"We are not going to leave them without help unless advised to do so.

"In the meanwhile we are planning changes such as, distributing in boxes outside our centre in order to preserve their safety and the safety of our staff and others."

"The Government and local councils across the country must ensure that homeless communities feature in their plans to cope with COVID-19." 

It should be noted that other than the items mentioned within our article, most foodstuffs and produce are still readily available in supermarkets.

For our London baaed supporters we have organised a public meeting with a qualified Pharmaceutical Technician and an NHS nurse to raise awareness of the reality of Coronavirus. The meeting will be from 10am at Clementswoof Community Centre, 14a Connaught Road, Ilford, Essex, IG1 1RN. It will include a short presentation and longer q&a session.

BACA have initiated a Facebook page called 'Coronavirus Group' (click here) which will be updated regularly with news and information from our various partners.

Only two blue tissue-roll packs left

Only nappies on top shelf remain (probably because unreachable for some mums).

Worrying lack of medicines

Bright yellow poster stating limit of one preserved a few here - well done Costco

Tesco Goodmayes is bereft of wipes, tissues and kitchen rolls.

Most of the rice is gone

No sanitizers remain.

Queues in Costco are phenomenal

No pastas are left!

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