As new cases of coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) arise in the UK, people are being advised to self-isolate if they’ve recently returned from high-risk countries.

These include the Hubei province in China, Iran, lockdown areas in the north of Italy and some parts of South Korea.

For the rest of the UK, there’s no need to self-isolate, unless you have symptoms including cough, high fever and shortness of breath.

Which means there’s “absolutely no reason” to panic-buy supplies for the vast majority of people in the UK, according to the government chief science adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, who advised:

There's absolutely no reason to be going out and doing any panic-buying or getting any large supplies of things.

But people aren’t listening.

Shops in the UK are reporting low stocks of face masks and hand sanitiser – with some pharmacies like Boots introducing limits on hand sanitiser sales per customer.

Bizarrely, people are also panic-buying toilet paper, causing #ToiletPaperGate to trend on social media.

The panic buying seemed to hit Australia the hardest over the last couple of days.

While there have been some people noticing a lack of toilet paper in the UK:

Thankfully, it seems the panic buying hasn’t spread to the UK:

The UK is currently in the containment phase of coronavirus, which could be upgraded to a delayed phase if things escalate.

At the time of writing, a total of 13,860 have tested negative for COVID-19, while 51 have tested positive.

The best advice to stop the spread of the virus is to regularly wash your hands with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds.

Be sensible about how you prepare for the worst, folks.

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