The COVID-19 outbreak has acquired unprecedented momentum across the world. In less than three months, it has made it to the shores of over 115 countries. A sudden surge in the number of cases in the US — currently at 1,701 — has led to panic buying of essentials, with ugly scrimmages becoming common.
In a video that is going viral on Twitter, a man is said to have been allegedly "stabbed" at a popular retail store in Hiram, Georgia, over ... A PACK OF BOTTLED WATER! While the video does not make any explicit mention, panic buying due to the coronavirus outbreak in the US is being cited as the cause of the altercation. IBTimes SG could not independently verify the authenticity of the video and is awaiting fact-checkers' views.
Stabbed over a pack of water
The video posted on Twitter by Everything Georgia(@GAFollowers) does not show how the confrontation began or the "stabbing" itself. However, the caption of the post says the confrontation was over a pack of water. A wine bottle was used in the "stabbing", the caption says.
Beginning abruptly, a man in a green t-shirt and what looks a black hat, can be seen pulling a man down with him. A female employee in a red apron can be seen trying to pull them apart and a woman in a white top and black pants rushes to her aid. As the camera shifts in and out of focus, others get involved and try to restrain the man in green.
The next part of the video hastily cuts to the injured and bandaged man being wheeled away by paramedics and a policeman. In the comments section of the tweet, a Twitter user shared the picture of a bloodied man in a black jacket, white t-shirt and maroon trousers — similar to the ensemble worn by the man in the video — lying on the floor.
COVID-19 scare leads to panic buying
Over the past few days, pictures and videos of people engaging in panic buying of essential supplies, owing to the fears surrounding coronavirus have been flooding social media. Some of them show people stocking up on essentials such as water, toilet paper and packaged food, with empty aisles also greeting panicked shoppers.
Disturbing videos of people engaging in violence to secure supplies have also been doing the rounds. Recently, the video of a similar tussle over a pack of toilet paper at an Australian supermarket went viral. It showed three women brawling over toilet paper at a Woolworths store in Sydney.
The world struggles and so does the US
As of now, over 128,000 confirmed cases and nearly 4,800 deaths have been reported across 116 countries. China, the epicenter of the global outbreak, has reported nearly 81,000 cases and over 3,000 casualties. Other than China, Italy and Iran have reported a steadily increasing number of cases and deaths. However, the US has seen a steep spike in cases over the course of a few days.
With over 1,700 confirmed infections and 40 casualties, the US is one of the 10 worst affected countries in the world. States such as Washington, New York, California and Massachusetts have reported cases in triple digits.
(Disclaimer: IBT Singapore could not verify the authenticity of the video)