Coronavirus: Condoms sell out as people put them on fingers

Australians have been panic-buying packs of condoms, believing they will help protect against coronavirus.

Thanh Thai, from Sydney, shared a picture of empty shelves after a store sold out of Durex contraceptives.

‘Can anybody please tell me what happened?’ she wrote alongside the picture.

Other mums told her that the panic-buying comes after a social media post encouraged people to use condoms to protect their fingers against the virus.

‘There has been some stupid post telling people to put condoms on their fingers to press buttons etc,’ one user replied.

‘Perhaps a new marketing ploy, just use your clothed elbow to avoid more rubbish being placed in the environments,’ another added.

‘Beyond ridiculous,’ another added.

Many Australian shoppers are stocking up on groceries over fears of food shortages due to the outbreak of the virus.

Images have shown empty shelves and trolleys filled to the brim at major supermarkets such as Coles and Woolworths as people rush to fill their pantries.

Professor Ian Mackay, an infectious disease specialist from the University of Queensland, said people should have up to two week’s worth of food during the coronavirus outbreak.

However he said it is important to shop smartly.

‘We can get in a bit of stock, foods, dried foods, dried fruits, some medicines – if you have any prescriptions it’s good to get those filled now,’ he told the ABC.

‘Just ahead of time, in case there are any disruptions to shelf stock or shelf supply – things like truck drivers getting sick.

‘We can be a little bit ahead of that curve and we’ve still got plenty of time because the virus isn’t spreading widely here yet.’

Meanwhile supermarkets have been forced to put a four-pack limit on toilet roll, as panicked shoppers empty shelves amid concerns basic supplies will run out.