THE local MP has warned against panic-buying as the Coronavirus outbreak continues to spread.

Stirling MP Alyn Smith issued the warning after a number of local supermarkets this week began to run low on some supplies like toilet roll.

As at Monday, March 9, the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Scotland is at 23.

Mr Smith said: “It is expected that there will be a significant rise in the number of people affected by this virus.

“So far, many people seem to be doing the right thing: self-isolating when they have symptoms and washing hands more regularly.

“A pattern of behaviour that we’ve seen across the world is that of panic buying goods where the virus has had an impact, and this seems to be filtering into the Stirling area too.

“It’s natural to want to feel prepared, but quite often supermarkets are not stocked to provide for panic buying, meaning that many people could be left without being able to buy essentials, such as toilet roll or even hand sanitiser.

“My advice it to buy sensibly and only what you need. We are not at a stage where the supply of goods is being severely affected by the outbreak.

“The best anyone can do to ensure that they are prepared for any possible infection is to familiarise themselves with the advice set out on the website – or to seek the advice of their GP or NHS24 over the phone if they have symptoms.”