Virus impact: Panic-buying of essentials in Hong Kong

People queue up to buy face masks in Hong Kong, Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. Japan on Friday reported 41 new cases of a virus on a quarantined cruise ship and turned away another luxury liner while the death toll in mainland China rose to 636, including a doctor who got in trouble with authorities in the communist country for sounding an early warning about the disease threat. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Barren supermarket shelves and signs reading “out of stock.” Widespread panic-buying of essentials such as toilet rolls and rice has hit in Hong Kong. The rush on essentials is a knock-on effect of the deadly virus outbreak in neighboring mainland China. Panicked Hong Kong shoppers fear the city’s efforts to combat the virus’ spread could cause shortages. The government insists that there’s no need to worry and there is no shortage of food. But lines are still forming. Shoppers waiting Friday to buy paper tissues said they felt compelled to stock up.