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Introduction An outbreak of COVID-19 pneumonia was detected in Wuhan, China and reported to the World Health Organisation on 31 December 2019 and characterised as a pandemic on 11 March 2020. In the absence of either a treatment or a vaccine, Government advice on social distancing, concerns about disruption that would result if the widespread closure of borders was to prove necessary and anticipation and implementation of stay-at-home protocols resulted in rapid and substantial changes in patterns of consumer demand. [1] There were shortages of essential equipment needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19—masks, hand sanitiser and other PPE. There were also widespread media reports of shelves depleted of items like toilet roll, pasta and flour as the goods and services people need when

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