Big W shop

Shopper is tasered by police amid coronavirus panic-buying frenzy

A row over toilet roll

A shopper reportedly had to be tasered by police after a bust-up at a department store amid reports of panic-buying over fears the coronavirus outbreak could lead to widespread shortages.

A man was charged after he allegedly attacked two people and police during a fight over toilet paper, the Daily Mail reported.

The individual, 50, was reportedly tasered at a shopping complex in Tamworth, a city in New South Wales, Australia.

Big W shop
The incident reported took place at a Big W store in Tamworth, NSW (Credit: Google Maps)

Read more: Shoppers urged to use contactless cards to avoid coronavirus-contaminated coins and bank notes

Cops were called to the department store after reports a man had assaulted a fellow customer and a member of staff.

According to the Mail, the argument is believed to have started over toilet paper, which people all over have been stockpiling due to coronavirus fears.

A spokesperson for New South Wales Police said: “Police have been told a 50-year-old man began to argue with a staff members and another customer before he assaulted them at a department store in Bridge Street.

During the man’s arrest, he was tasered.

“Officers attended and during the man’s arrest, he was tasered.

“He was then taken to Tamworth police station where he is assisting police with their inquiries.”

It comes amid reports that Britain’s supermarkets have drawn up emergency plans to ‘feed the nation’ and deal with potential panic-buying in the event of the coronavirus outbreak worsening.

People have reportedly been stockpiling goods (Credit: David Whinham /

The contingency plans would see our shops working with suppliers to reduce the variety of products on offer – and instead focus on keeping the staple foods and groceries in supply, The Guardian reported.

The Secretary of State for Health had previously said that entire UK cities could be forced into lockdown to halt the spread of coronavirus.

During an interview on Sunday (March 1 2020), MP Matt Hancock refused to rule out putting cities in Britain on official lockdown in a bid to contain the flu-like bug.

Matt Hancock
MP Matt Hancock previously refused to rule out putting whole UK cities on lockdown (Credit:

Read more: Chief Medical Officer warns of coronavirus deaths to come as NHS prepares to see patients via video link

He said on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show: “There is clearly a huge economic and social downside to [shutting cities down].

“But we don’t take anything off the table at this stage because you have to make sure you have all the tools available, if that is what is necessary.”

Speaking further, Matt said it’s “inevitable” the virus will “become endemic” in Britain.

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