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Panic buying of toilet paper hits U.S. stores again

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Toilet paper aisles are emptying again as COVID-19 curfews and shutdowns in states from California to New York send pandemic-weary shoppers on a new scramble for essentials.

Walmart on Friday said it was “seeing pockets of lower than normal availability” for toilet paper and cleaning supplies in some communities as infections rage virtually unchecked across most of the United States.

As of Friday afternoon, 22 states have imposed restrictions aimed at decreasing spread of the virus – giving rise to a new round of panic buying from shoppers and purchase limits from retailers including Target and Kroger, the nation’s largest supermarket chain.

EPA-EFE/TAMAS KOVACS

Shoppers in a half dozen cities around the United States told Reuters that disinfecting wipes were sold out at discount retailers like Walmart and Costco, as well as at Cerberus Capital-owned grocery chains Albertsons and Vons.

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