Another case of coronavirus in Australia shuts down school, panic buying and racism

Another case of coronavirus in Australia shuts down school, panic buying and racism
Source: The Independent

A school in Sydney has been closed after a student tested positive for the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Sydney’s Epping Boys High School has been shut down, sending nearly 1,200 students home after a 16-year-old student was found to have tested positive for the coronavirus on March 5.

Authorities have called for the parents to stay calm and to ensure that their children remain at home. “I implore parents not to panic but to make sure your child stays home,” said New South Wales (NSW) health minister Brad Hazzard on March 6. He also reportedly said that virus containment may have an unlikely outcome.

Australia has recorded 60 cases of coronavirus with 22 cases in NSW alone, including two doctors from Liverpool Hospital and Ryde Hospital. Both doctors attended a radiologist conference in Sydney on February 18. Authorities have contacted the dozens of people who had been in close contact with the two doctors to check for possible virus transmission.

Panic buying

Australians are seen emptying supermarket shelves in major cities as residents stock up on supplies such as toilet paper, which has sparked social media outrage with users using trending hashtags such as #toiletpapergate and #toiletpapercrisis on Twitter. “We are trying to reassure people that removing all of the lavatory paper from the shelves of supermarkets probably isn’t a proportionate or sensible thing to do at this time,” said Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy.

The Millennial Source has received images of empty shelves in supermarkets sent by local residents in Melbourne, highlighting the rampant panic buying in local stores.

Australia’s biggest grocery chain, Woolworths Group Ltd, has rationed sales of essential products such as toilet paper, eggs, milk and rice to four packs per shopper. Costco Wholesale Corp has restricted its bulk-buy packs to one per shopper.

Racism towards Chinese

Residents of Chinese descent have been facing increased incidents of racism amid the rise of novel coronavirus cases.

Sources in Australia told the Millennial Source that a Chinese individual was confronted for buying large amounts of toilet paper. “Someone started a fight with a Chinese person for buying excessive toilet paper. Racism is getting worse. People are anti-Chinese,” said the local resident.