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Health News

German coronavirus cases hit new record as shoppers stockpile again

FILE PHOTO: General view of the terrace in front of the restaurant of art museum Lenbachhaus on the first day of the temporary closing of restaurants and sporting facilities, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Munich, Germany, November 2, 2020. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s daily new coronavirus infections hit a record high on Thursday as data showed shoppers had stocked up on toilet paper, hand sanitiser and baking ingredients ahead of new lockdown measures that took effect this week.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases increased by 19,990 to 596,583, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Thursday.

The Statistics Office said rising coronavirus cases and the new partial lockdown, which took effect from Nov. 2, had increased the demand for some hygiene articles and foodstuffs in the second half of October.

Sales of toilet paper in the week beginning Oct. 19 were 139% above the average for the pre-crisis months of August 2019 to January 2020, the Statistics Office said.

Purchases of disinfectant have risen continuously in recent weeks and were up 104% over pre-crisis levels in the last week of October, but remained lower than during the first lockdown in spring, when sales at times increased almost eight-fold.

Shoppers also stocked up on baking ingredients, with sales of flour up 101% from pre-crisis levels, while yeast and sugar rose 74% and 63% respectively.

But turnover of these products was also lower than in spring, suggesting that appeals from politicians to avoid hoarding were at least partly being heard, the office said.

Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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