Panicked Dundonians have cleared the shelves of medicine, hand sanitiser and toilet paper at shops across the city as coronavirus fears rise.
Armies of anxious buyers have flocked to the shops in order to stock up on medical essentials as well as food and toiletries.
It comes following almost a fortnight of fear over coronavirus, which first arrived on Scottish shores on March 1.
There has still been just one confirmed case of the virus in Tayside, with another 26 across the rest of Scotland.
But it hasn’t stopped residents across the city stocking up on essentials as they prepare for the next stage of Covid-19 – which could see the country on “lockdown”, with the majority of people working from home and large events cancelled in a worst-case scenario.
The panic-buying has led to stocks of hand sanitiser being sold out across the city, forcing pharmacies such as Boots to introduce a “two units per person” rule.
The rule has been imposed on other products such as baby sterilising and antibacterial products, hand wash, cough, cold and pain relief, children’s medicines, thermometers and tissues.
A spokeswoman for the company said: “The best way to help prevent catching a virus is by making sure that you regularly wash your hands with soap, and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth to prevent transmission from surfaces, especially after blowing your nose, sneezing and coughing.
“All our pharmacists can offer advice on the best way to stay healthy this winter.”
In Home Bargains, signs were put up next to the toilet paper warning of store detectives keeping an eye on shoppers.
Painkillers such as ibuprofen were also sold out in the bargain superstore, and in Tesco signs have been put up informing shoppers that anti-bacterial wipes won’t be available until Saturday.
The Nethergate Tesco sold out of Dettol surface cleaner and the shelves were clear of hay fever medication, with one sign warning allergy tablets were out of stock until next month.
It is understood that Tesco has now put quantity limits on some essential items such as antibacterial gels, wipes and sprays, dry pasta, UHT milk and some tinned vegetables
Shoppers also cleared out the shelves at Asda Milton in an attempt to stock up, with barely any supplies left behind in certain areas.
Items such as shampoo, mouthwash and women’s razors were also in short supply.
Sainsbury’s on Tom Johnston Road was also running low on similar items and also introduced limits on some medicines.
In Monifieth, South Grange Care Centre has restricted visitor access in order to keep its elderly patients safe from the coronavirus.
A spokesman said: “We would like to reassure residents and families at South Grange Care Centre that we are fully adhering to guidelines from Public Health England with regards to coronavirus.
“In aligning with this we have asked that friends and relatives minimise their visits to residents in our homes.
“Some of our residents are vulnerable to the virus and we therefore need to work together to limit the risk.
“We are working hard to ensure residents and families are able to contact each other through other means.
“If visits are necessary then we ask that visitors consult the official guidelines, which are regularly updated, beforehand.
“Staff in our homes will remain on heightened alert and ensure that any resident or staff member with any symptoms will be referred to their GP and local health protection agency who will advise the home management team in relation to further management and any precautions necessary to ensure our residents and staff remain safe.”
However, while large-scale events across Europe are being cancelled or delayed, closer to home it is understood to be “business as usual” with the BBC making assurances that Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Camperdown Park would be going ahead this May.
Festival bosses are said to be actively monitoring the developing situation around Covid-19, but anticipate the festival going ahead as planned – unless otherwise advised.
The city council has also sought to assure parents it is following up-to-date guidelines from Health Protection Scotland to ensure children are properly-protected from an outbreak, and has not ruled out cancelling school trips to countries and places deemed high-risk.
Hygiene guidelines issued for pupils
Dundee City Council has moved to reassure parents over coronavirus fears and sent out guidelines on how children can best avoid the virus.
The local authority sent letters to parents and carers yesterday, which confirmed there had been no pupils at schools in the city who had yet been affected by the virus.
The letter, which was sent to parents at Forthill Primary School and was seen by the Tele, said: “To date, we have had no cases of Covid-19 in any Dundee school.
“As ever, our first concern is for the safety and well-being of pupils and staff, so all our staff are following the latest guidance provided by Health Protection Scotland, which has published specific guidance on www.hps.scot.nhs.uk to assist those in schools, early years childcare and other educational settings. This page will be updated as more information emerges.”
The council has assured parents it was following the appropriate guidelines in its bid to combat coronavirus, as it encourages children to wash hands regularly, distributes NHS advice posters throughout schools and in all staff rooms, reviews planned schools trips and keeps in contact with the Scottish Government, NHS and other partner agencies to ensure it has the latest and best advice and information.