New Zealanders are not alone when it comes to stockpiling supplies due to coronavirus fears.

After the first known case of coronavirus was confirmed in Auckland on Friday, supermarkets reported a noticable increase in shoppers, with some items - such as toilet paper and bottled water - quickly selling out.

The surge led Kiwi experts to urge calm, saying there was no need for panic.

But Kiwis are not the only ones preparing for "worst-case-scenario" if the outbreak continues.

Advertisement

Virus "panic buying" is sweeping the globe, with shoppers emptying shelves of food, toilet paper, bottled water and hand sanitiser - in particular - in supermarkets and stores.

Media reports and posts on Twitter show record stockpiling by panicked locals in Sydney, Perth, Auckland, New York, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Milan, among others.

Food staples of every type is stripped from the shelves in many supermarkets around the world including New Zealand. Photo / Supplied
Food staples of every type is stripped from the shelves in many supermarkets around the world including New Zealand. Photo / Supplied

Essential foodstuffs like bread, flour and rice, as well as canned beans and tomatoes, pasta, pasta sauce and water have flown off the shelves as both the COVID-19 pandemic and fears about it spread.

In one post doing the rounds on Twitter, a New Zealand supermarket shows every type of bread stripped from the shelves - except gluten free options.

News.com.au reported a Sydney North Shore supermarket said rice, flour and toilet paper were the "first to go" and "we can't keep up with" supplies of the goods.

US reports showed bare shelves and refrigerated sections in Costco shops where "water, toilet paper, rice, meat … all are disappearing fast".

Empty shelves at Coles in the Perth suburb of Claremont after a panic buying session swept through the store on Saturday. Photo / news.com.au / Facebook
Empty shelves at Coles in the Perth suburb of Claremont after a panic buying session swept through the store on Saturday. Photo / news.com.au / Facebook
Toilet paper, crammed into a Perth shopper's trolley, is being stockpiled by people panicked by the coronavirus. Photo / News.com.au / Seven News
Toilet paper, crammed into a Perth shopper's trolley, is being stockpiled by people panicked by the coronavirus. Photo / News.com.au / Seven News

Silicon Valley reported its Trader Joe's shelves were emptied of canned goods.

Completely empty shelves in supermarkets and pharmacies were forcing health professionals in Sydney to order hand sanitiser online.

Advertisement

In a Coles supermarket in Claremont WA, a crowd of shoppers on Saturday fought to grab supplies of hand sanitiser, toilet paper, tinned food and bottled water and cram them into trolleys.

Emptied shelves in the toilet paper section of Coles in the Perth suburb of Claremont. Photo / News.com.au / Facebook
Emptied shelves in the toilet paper section of Coles in the Perth suburb of Claremont. Photo / News.com.au / Facebook
Empty shelves at a North Sydney supermarket where toilet paper, water, food staples and hand sanitiser disappeared. Photo / News.com.au / Twitter
Empty shelves at a North Sydney supermarket where toilet paper, water, food staples and hand sanitiser disappeared. Photo / News.com.au / Twitter

Photographs of the store afterwards showed empty aisles and bare shelves and shoppers reported being intimidated by others pushing in and seizing items.

The situation is predicted to worsen as Australia recorded its first coronavirus fatality, after a man who was in a Perth hospital died on Sunday morning.

New Zealand has one confirmed coronavirus

A total of 23 coronavirus infections have been recorded in Australia to date.

As of Sunday afternoon, more than 86,980 coronavirus cases had been recorded in the world with 79,824 in China, followed by 3526 in South Korea, 1128 in Italy, 593 in Iran and 241 in Japan.

The world death toll is 2978, with 2761 of those in the Wuhan province Hubei, a total of 56 in other parts of China, 29 in Italy and 17 in South Korea.