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Aussie Supermarkets Apologise For Hand Sanitiser Shortage

Australian supermarkets and chemists have confirmed there has been a surge of customers buying up hand sanitisers and antibacterial products at 'unusually high' rates as coronavirus panic sets in.

It comes as panicked shoppers rush to protect themselves from coronavirus (Covid-19).

Multiple retailers including Coles, Chemist Warehouse and Woolworths have been experiencing hand sanitiser shortages for the last few weeks.

A Coles spokesperson told 10 daily earlier this month that the supermarket has experienced an "extremely high" demand for antibacterial handwashes and sanitiser products since the virus outbreak.

"While we are working closely with our suppliers to improve availability, some products may be temporarily out of stock,” the spokesperson said.

Coles website advised customers of the shortage on Wednesday. Image: Coles Online

Woolworth's has also felt the surge of demand for antibacterial products and has apologised to its customers.

"We’re sorry for the inconvenience to our customers ... we're currently experiencing shortages in our stores due to higher than usual customer demand.

"We're are working very closely with our suppliers to get these products back on shelves as quickly as possible".

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The Woolies spokesperson said not all of its antibacterial products were in short supply.

Chemist Warehouse online also notified customers some hand sanitisers were out of stock.

Chemist Warehouse online notified customers some products were out of stock.

The product shortages come as Australia announced plans to combat the spread of the virus, fearing the 'risk of global pandemic was upon us'.

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The Department of Health has said that a mask will only help an infected person to prevent spreading the virus.

Although N95 respirator masks are better than disposable masks, they will not be 100 per cent effective in protecting healthy individuals from getting the virus.

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The health department says that washing your hands "often and thoroughly" as well as avoiding human contact is the best way to prevent getting the virus.

America's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that the best way to avoid catching coronavirus is by avoiding exposure and washing your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.