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    Woolies Is Opening Stores Only To The Elderly And Disabled For An Hour Each Morning And It's Restored My Faith In Humanity

    Vulnerable communities across Australia have been missing out on vital groceries due to panic-buying and stockpiling.

    Since its outbreak in December last year, COVID-19 (previously known as "2019 novel coronavirus") has infected more than 150,000 people worldwide and resulted in over 5,700 reported deaths.

    Linh Pham / Getty Images

    The virus has since been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, which has led to panic-buying on a global scale.

    For the elderly and disabled communities in Australia — who are some of the most at risk — the panic-buying and stockpiling of goods has meant their access to basic grocery items, such as toilet paper, dried pasta and tinned goods, has become severely limited.

    William West / Getty Images

    If you've stepped inside a supermarket recently, the image above will be an all-too-familiar sight.

    Thankfully, Woolies has now stepped in to protect at-risk shoppers and ensure they have a dedicated time to fill their grocery baskets in peace.

    @theprojecttv @Lisa_Wilkinson We’re pleased to be launching a dedicated shopping hour in our stores to help support the needs of the elderly & people with disability in the community. From tomorrow until at least friday, we’ll be opening exclusively for them to shop from 7-8am, where permitted.

    The announcement follows an impassioned plea from The Project's Lisa Wilkinson, who asked that we come together as a nation and do what's best for the more vulnerable in our society.

    We need to ensure that our elderly are not left behind - this is the time to come together as a nation and do what's best for the most vulnerable in our society. @Lisa_Wilkinson shares her candid thoughts on current surge in panic buying, and what that means for our elderly.

    In Victoria, an IGA Supermarket has introduced a similar solution — with an Altona branch becoming the first Australian supermarket to open exclusively to seniors.

    Amid the coronavirus panic buying, an IGA in Victoria has become the first Australian supermarket to open exclusively to seniors. Do you support this idea? #9Today

    In these times of uncertainty and fear, it's important to remember that there are vulnerable people all over Australia who need access to basic goods during the COVID-19 outbreak.

    William West / Getty Images

    So please, if you're able-bodied and healthy, abide by these new policies and allow those who need the dedicated hours to shop in peace.

    You can keep up-to-date with all of our most recent coverage of the coronavirus here.

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