Panic shopping condemned by Sandwell's mayor
The Mayor of Sandwell has condemned panic buying which puts people at ‘significant risk’ and denies food to others on low incomes.
Councillor Ann Jaron, who is a retired GP, has spoken out about the dangers of ignoring social distancing and the impact of clearing shelves of essential items – such as fresh food – on the most vulnerable.
She described panic buying as ‘horrendously selfish’ which increased the risk of spreading Covid-19 while denying people who can’t afford to spend hundreds of pounds at a time buying the food and goods they need.
Her comments came as supermarkets in the Black Country saw large numbers of shoppers queuing up for stores to open before crowding in to buy up goods.
She warned: “Panic buying puts a lot of people together and therefore creates a significant risk of transmitting the virus.
“The other thing is sharing things out reasonably. I understand why people with large families to feed might get a lot in for two weeks but they are other ways of buying things.
“It is difficult for supermarkets to decide if people are just shopping for two people or for a family of six but the way some people are behaving you’d think they had half an army to feed. It is very selfish.”
Advising people to buy only what they need, she added: “If you can pace it then the supply chains can cope.
“It‘s a worry that people will buy up all this food and frankly, then throw it away. Tins and dried food are okay but buying up all the fresh stuff, it will just go off and then it will be denied to others. It is irresponsible and selfish.”
Urging people to use online shopping wherever possible to cut down on the risk of infection, she urged the regular washing of hands, to keep a two metre distance from others and stay at home as much as possible.
She also advised people who feel they have symptoms of Covid-19 to self-isolate for seven days and contact the NHS on 111 if there is no improvement.
People with other illnesses or chronic medical problems should first telephone their local GP surgery if they require treatment.
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