On Thursday, Germany’s daily new COVID infections hit a record high as data showed shoppers had stocked up on toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and baking components ahead of new lockdown measures that took effect this week.
The number of COVID cases increased by 19,990 to 596,583, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious disease.
The Statistics Office said increasing coronavirus cases and the new partial lockdown, which took effect from Nov. 2, had raised the demand for some foodstuffs and hygiene products 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 had 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.
The turnover of these products was also lower than in spring, suggesting that politicians’ appeals to avoid hoarding were at least partly being heard, the office said.