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Coronavirus fears drive sales

Personal hygiene sales are rising in line with global panic as the Coronavirus continues to spread.

Olympian Products said they have seen a whopping 45% increase in sales of their antiseptic wipes over the last week.

They have also reported a spike in surgical face masks.

It comes as panicked customers reported chemists across the country had sold out of face masks, with long wait lists at some stores for the next shipment.

It follows reports last week that major pharmacy chain Chemist Warehouse, among other chains, had sold out of face masks across Australia in the wake of virus fears.

This is despite government health departments advising they do not recommend face masks being used by the general population.

Stocks of hand sanitiser have also been depleted across chemists and retail stores.

As of this morning there are 12 confirmed cases of the virus in Australia, including four in both New South Wales and Victoria, and two in both South Australia and Queensland.

There has been more than 20,000 confirmed cases in China, with the number of reported deaths at 425.

The Australian government enacted strict travel restrictions over the weekend, including banning foreign nationals travelling from or through mainland China from entering Australia and enforcing a 14 day quarantine period for Australian citizens returning from mainland China.

The economic toll of the virus is also expected to hit hard, with affects being felt across the mining sector, as well as drops in exports and the fall out from travel bans on international student numbers for universities. The Australian newspaper has reported the toll could be as high as $13 billion in the first half of 2020.

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