Coronavirus: Should people be stockpiling toilet paper? Dr Hilary offers his advice

Coronavirus: Should people be stockpiling toilet paper? Dr Hilary offers his advice

Coronavirus cases in the UK have now reached 87, and with fears over the number of cases rising, people across the world, particularly in Australia, have been stockpiling toilet paper. In Sydney, supermarket shelves were cleared in minutes, forcing one chain to enforce a four-pack buying limit. But are people right to be stockpiling toilet paper?


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Dr Hilary has stressed there’s no need for people to be stocking up on loo roll.

Speaking on ITV’s Lorraine he said: I don’t know what it is about toilet paper – we’re not talking about coronavirus here. Why’s toilet paper the thing that people have to stockpile.

“No man is an island as John Dunn said. We’ve all got to be responsible, we’ve all got to be less selfish, and think about looking after the entire world and society.

“So if we stockpile, we remove that food from other people, and when you use your two week stockpile and you’ve got through it, there’s going to be nothing left not he shelves because everyone’s done the same.

“It doesn’t make any sense.”

Dr Hilary added: “There are contingency plans being put in place by supermarkets, and all down the line they’ve got delivery storages for things like peas which are grown once a year, and they can be drip fed into the shops when needed.

“We don’t need to go crazy – it is selfish and it’s not actually sustainable.”

For now, Dr Hilary’s advice is for people to go about their normal life.

He said: “They [people] should be going about their normal lives – they should be keeping this within perspective.

“They should be making sure the most vulnerable people, like people over 80, are getting their deliveries and not going out to places where there are lots of people, and making sure they report any symptoms should they get them immediately.

“But for everybody else, go about your normal duties, hand wash frequently.”

At the moment the risk of coronavirus in the UK is moderate, but health officials have advised most people can continue to go to work, school and other public places.

People only need to stay away from public places (self-isolate) if advised to do so by the 111 online coronavirus service or a medical professional.

You should use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

  • You think you might have coronavirus
  • In the last 14 days you’ve been to a country or area with a high risk of coronavirus
  • You’ve been in close contact with someone with coronavirus


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Symptoms of coronavirus

The three main symptoms are listed as:

  • A cough
  • A high temperature
  • Shortness of breath

How to self-isolate

If there’s a chance you could have coronavirus and you’re asked to self-isolate, the NHS says you should:

  • Stay at home
  • Not go to work, school or public places
  • Not use public transport or taxis
  • Ask friends, family members or delivery services to do errands for you
  • Try to avoid visitors to your home – it’s OK for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food

To avoid catching or spreading coronavirus you should:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • Always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell

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