National | Novel Coronavirus / COVID-19

Panic buying in Tūranganui a Kiwa

Petrol prices drop by 20 cents a litre and Coronavirus emergency measures spark panic buying in Tūranganui a Kiwa.

Rows and rows of customers filled the isles of Pak n Sav in Tūranga grabbing what they need in response to the outbreak. Shelves of household essentials were emptied within hours of the rush.

However, one source from the local supermarket told Te Ao Maori News that whānau shouldn’t panic as stocks will be refilled overnight.

Meanwhile, as oil prices slid 10% worldwide due to the Coronavirus cases, bringing travel and business to a standstill. It means that there’s a drop in demand for crude oil.

Local fuel prices in Turanganui a Kiwa down by 20 cents a litre for petrol and 13 cents a litre for diesel. It's expected to drop even more by the morning.

Yesterday, the government’s announcement to cancel gatherings with 500 or more people has caused the Gisborne District Council to take extra measures to stem the spread of the deadly pathogen.

Local governments have decided postpone all Council-led public hui and engagement events until further notice.

This includes Council’s tsunami evacuation meetings and regular East Coast Roadshows.

“We’ve ensured our website is up-to-date with comprehensive information on all Council activities but, as always, remind the community they can contact customer service directly with any questions or concerns,”  Council's chief executive Nedine Thatcher Swann says.

Gisborne Theatres are also following suit since yesterdays announcement from the government to follow their guidelines in order to stop OVID-19 in its tracks.

Most events scheduled at the War Memorial and Lawson Field Theatres for the next month have been cancelled.

“A couple of events are still planning to go ahead at this stage - these small ticketed events are still permitted under the new Government restrictions.”

“In the meantime, it is incredibly crucial people do not attend events if they are unwell or if they should be self-isolating following overseas travel. Our message is stay home.”

Council will reassess the situation regularly and update the community on any changes to public events.

“We ask Tairāwhiti communities follow MOH guidelines around avoiding close contact - that includes handshakes, hugs or hongi,” Thatcher Swann says.