SYDNEY, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Australia's supermarkets have attempted to tackle anxious customers "panic-buying" bulk items due to COVID-19, with the country's largest chain Woolworths introducing its strictest limits yet.
As of Wednesday, purchases of most packaged items in store were limited to two per transaction, from any category, to stop the over purchasing of necessities which is leaving others with none.
"There is now a per customer, per shop limit of two items from any single category on most packaged products across Woolworths Supermarkets," a company spokesperson explained.
"This means that you'll only be able to buy two products from any single category or section (such as coffee), regardless of the brand or variety."
Some exemptions to the limits included fresh produce and meat, bread, milk drinks, baby food and pet food, while a one pack per transaction limit remained on items including toilet paper, antibacterial wipes, paper towels and rice.
Many Australians have expressed frustration at not being able to buy basic items, as others cleared shelves in supermarkets across the country.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison condemned the practice on Wednesday, describing it as "un-Australian" and urging the public to stop.
"It is not sensible, it is not helpful and it has been one of the most disappointing things I have seen in Australian behaviour in response to this crisis. That is not who we are as a people. It is not necessary," he said.