There were doomsday-like scenes at Maltese supermarkets today as people rushed to buy survival food over fears the coronavirus could force them to lock themselves up inside.
Lovin Malta visited LIDL in Mosta this morning and found it significantly busier than usual, with practically all parking spaces taken up, shoppers jostling their way through the supermarket with their trolleys and payment queues stretching into the aisles.
It was clear which items were in high demand.
Long-life food items like galletti, pasta, rice, noodles and tomato pulp were flying off the shelves. By around 11am, three of four large crates of pasta were completely empty while the fourth one was halfway there.
Cans of sweetcorn were also incredibly popular but chickpeas decidedly less so.
Photos taken from LIDL Żejtun yesterday evening showed similar scenes, with even the fridges completely wiped clean.
Meanwhile, food business owners are being contacted by friends and employees to stock up on food from supermarkets because they’re running out of food.
Amidst the panic, largely brought about by the coronavirus reaching the shores of Sicily, the Health Ministry confirmed that there are no current cases of the virus in Malta. The Ministry has also urged people returning to Malta from Northern Italy, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Iran and South Korea, to self-quarantine for 14 days just in case.
For medical advice about the coronavirus epidemic, you should contact the Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Unit on 21324086.