Some Vancouverites are flocking to stores and stocking up on supplies as novel coronavirus continues to spread. Vancouver store supplies are emptying fast. Places like Costco are selling out of sanitization materials, preserved foods, and survival supplies; others like London Drugs report high demands for the same.
CTV News reported that people were lined up and looking for bottled water at a Vancouver Costco on Friday, February 28.
Some canned goods, like black beans and Spam, were already sold out or in low supply. The same went for sanitation supplies like Lysol disinfectant and toilet paper.
London Drugs told Narcity the same: "Cleaning and sanitation products are in significant demand."
Even when news first hit of the novel coronavirus, stores were selling out of face masks. However, we haven't seen such large demands for supplies until now.
Kyle Lawrence, who was at Costco, stocking up on goods, told CTV News, "The COVID-19 scare is pretty much going around for everybody.
"We just want to make sure we have the provisions that we're just missing, just for the time being, right?"
Despite concerns, however, B.C.'s Centre for Disease Control maintains that the risk of getting coronavirus in Canada is relatively low.
One minute before its opening, people had already been lining up at Costco(near where I live) for their war-time “r… https://t.co/dLftEYncPl— Xi Lu 卢熙 (@Xi Lu 卢熙) 1583083173.0
In Richmond, Costco shelves were also being stripped of their contents.
"If the virus suddenly hits where you live, the last place you want to be is in line at an overcrowded grocery store," said an anonymous shopper going by "Du" to Richmond News.
London Drugs aren't currently sure about the status of preserved goods in their stores and said they'll let us know later; this article will be updated to reflect that.
The demand might have been sparked after authorities brought up the idea of a coronavirus pandemic in Canada. Authorities also recommended Canadians stock up on supplies, in case they or their loved ones fall ill.
Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu told CTV News that people should make sure they "do have enough supplies so if someone in your family becomes ill, if you yourself become ill, that you have what you need to survive for a week or so without going outside."
Text from family member who works at Costco. #coronavirus scare taking effect in Vancouver. https://t.co/ibTjxfiEHS— Justin Hayek (@Justin Hayek) 1583012566.0
There are currently over 20 confirmed novel coronavirus cases in Canada and eight within B.C., according to Bloomberg. In contrast, there are over 88,000 cases worldwide and roughly 3,000 deaths.
Canada has set travel advisories for seven places around the world as a precaution.
The B.C. Ministry of Health was not ready to comment on the situation when Narcity reached them.
*Cover photo used for illustrative purposes only.