Germans start 'hamstering' toilet paper again as Covid-19 cases surge

People wearing face masks at Schloss Strasse shopping street, as the Covid-19 outbreak continues, in Berlin, Germany October 20, 2020.  — Reuters pic
People wearing face masks at Schloss Strasse shopping street, as the Covid-19 outbreak continues, in Berlin, Germany October 20, 2020. — Reuters pic

BERLIN, Oct 22 — Sales of toilet paper and disinfectants are on the rise again in Germany, the country’s statistics office said today, as Europe’s largest economy struggles with a second coronavirus wave.

“Hamster purchases are starting again,” the office said on Twitter, using a German phrase for panic-buying or hoarding.

Sales of toilet paper surged by 89.9 per cent last week when compared to pre-crisis levels, while disinfectants (up 72.5 per cent) and soap (up 62.3 per cent) were also in high demand, it said in a separate statement.

Germany has had more success in containing the pandemic than other large European countries such as Britain and France, but case numbers have increased steadily over the past weeks.

Today Germany for the first time reported more than 10,000 new daily Covid-19 infections.

Data released in April showed that stocking up on daily essentials ahead of anticipated lockdown and quarantine measures caused German retail sales to surge far beyond expectations in February. —Reuters

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