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‘There is no reason to panic’ - chief officer quashes stockpiling concerns

PUBLISHED: 16:03 03 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:03 03 March 2020

Examples of shortages at a Sainsbury's supermarket in Cambridge as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces the government's coronavirus action plan. Photo credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Examples of shortages at a Sainsbury's supermarket in Cambridge as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces the government's coronavirus action plan. Photo credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

The country’s chief scientific adviser has urged people not to stockpile food and other supplies due to coronavirus fears.

An example of such a shortage of antibacterial handwash on the shelf in Cambridge, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces the government's coronavirus action plan. Photo credit  Joe Giddens/PA WireAn example of such a shortage of antibacterial handwash on the shelf in Cambridge, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces the government's coronavirus action plan. Photo credit Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Sir Patrick Vallance, said there was "absolutely no reason" to panic as the government launched its action plan.

Sir Vallance was speaking after Ocado reported a surge in online orders. Supermarkets and pharmacies have also seen shelves being cleared out of food, antibacterial gel and other supplies.

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The officer said such measures would only be brought in if homes were put under quarantine and appropriate steps taken for places such as care homes.

Boris Johnson announces the government's coronavirus action plan Photo credit  Joe Giddens/PA WireBoris Johnson announces the government's coronavirus action plan Photo credit Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Sir Patrick said: "I think the advice is that there is absolutely no reason to be doing any panic buying of any sort or going out and keeping large supplies of things.

"Clearly there will need to be measures in cases of household quarantine for making sure food is in the right place at the right time but we imagine that could be a rolling case of household quarantine if that measure becomes necessary, and clearly things will need to be in place for care homes and so on if that decision is made."

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