Armed criminals in Hong Kong stole 600 rolls of toilet paper at knifepoint as fears grow over shortages linked to the coronavirus.

The South China Morning Post reported that criminals stole 50 packs of the paper worth around $130 from a delivery truck near a shop.

Government reassurances that supplies of staple products are stable hasn’t stopped Hong Kongers engaging in “frenzied” panic buying.

“The problem of supply shortage doesn’t exist,” Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung said. “Citizens do not need to worry or make excessive purchases out of panic. I urge the public not to believe in rumors.”

Hong Kong currently has 57 coronavirus cases and all people arriving in the special administrative region from China are subject to a compulsory 14 day quarantine.

According to official death toll figures released by Beijing earlier today, 1,770 people have died after contracting coronavirus and more than 70,500 people across China have already been infected.


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