Top doc urges calm over toilet roll panic buying

AMA president Dr Tony Bartone says there's no need for bunker mentality as patients stock up on staples amid spreading coronavirus fears

AMA president Dr Tony Bartone is doing his bit to stop worried patients from stripping supermarkets bare in response to the coronavirus threat, urging calm to keep toilet paper on the shelves.

His comments come after reports that Australians are stockpiling items — including hand sanitiser, pasta, rice, bottled water and toilet paper — as concerns about the impacts of the spread of COVID-19 grow.

Stunned shoppers posted photos of empty supermarket shelves on social media, as families tell media outlets they have been stocking up on essentials for weeks.

On Monday, Victorian Chief Health Officer Dr Brett Sutton advised people to consider what they would need if they were to isolate at home for 2-3 weeks, although he stressed there was no need to panic buy.

Meanwhile, Dr Bartone urged calm, saying the situation in Australia had not yet reached 'bunker' status, even though some supply