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Arcade replaces prizes with hand sanitizer and other coronavirus essentials

Click to play video: 'New coronavirus has people panic-buying' New coronavirus has people panic-buying
As more Albertans are diagnosed with novel coronavirus, more people are scrambling to prepare for the virus and some are panic-buying and stock-piling supplies. Fletcher Kent has more – Mar 9, 2020

One British business owner is capitalizing on the novel coronavirus in a very novel way — and bringing some laughs to the public at the same time.

East Yorkshire-based arcade owner Eddy Chapman has swapped out typical game prizes for sought-after products, like toilet rolls and hand sanitizer, during the COVID-19 outbreak.

He noticed shoppers “panic buying” products, he told Independent, and thought: Why not “have a bit of fun with it”?

READ MORE: Latest updates — Coronavirus in Canada

Over in Devon, another man has jumped on the wagon, removing his movie-themed prizes in place of more prized possessions during this time.

“We evicted the character from Frozen and the Peter Rabbit teddy bears and replaced them with hand sanitizer and toilet rolls,” Rob Braddick of Ho Barts Amusement Arcade told the publication.

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Braddick, 48, shared a series of photos of his creation on Facebook, writing: “This is all getting ‘loo-dicrous’ in Westward Ho! That small Carex hand sanitizer is nearly as rare as hen’s teeth.”

The photos feature crane-machine games stocked with essentials that are seen being bought en-masse around the world.

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Visitors, CNN reports, can now pay around 65 cents for three plays to get a toilet roll, while the Carex bottles are going for around $1.30.

“It’s a bit of light relief with everything that’s going on,” he told CNN. “Hopefully it will raise a smile, which I think everybody needs.”

While it’s all laughs at the arcade, the situation with COVID-19 across the world remains unpredictable, with 137,445 people affected by the virus.

READ MORE: People hoard essentials as coronavirus fears rise, but panic buying isn’t necessary, experts say

The new coronavirus was first identified in Hubei province, China, in December 2019 and spread rapidly. While the outbreak has begun to level off in China, it seems the virus has found a foothold in a number of countries around the world, and it continues to spread.

Confused about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials say the risk is very low for Canadians, but they caution against travel to affected areas (a list can be found here). If you do travel to these places, they recommend you self-monitor to see whether you develop symptoms and if you do, to contact public health authorities.

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Coronavirus outbreak: Thousands board Mexico-bound cruise ship from Texas, despite warnings – Mar 13, 2020

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing – very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.

Visit full COVID-19 coverage on Global News.

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meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca

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