Amid the coronavirus outbreak and the tight restrictions imposed by the authorities on public gatherings, sales of firearms soared significantly as reported by a gun shop owner in Berlin, on Saturday.

Soft weapons, including gas pistols, and defence helmets could be seen in display cabinets. The weapons on display were not military weapons, as these are stores in a safe since they are not available for shooting.

"2 to 3 weeks ago, we have noticed that the sale of security items has increased significantly," said gun shop owner, Pavel Sverdlov. "People are afraid of these times of uncertainty, but meanwhile, the federal government has done a lot to calm down the mood of society," he added, suggesting that the surge may have been due to panic buying.

"Things are being bought mainly for the so-called home defence, these are pepper spray, pepper foam and ammunition for gun pistols," he said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced strict coronavirus measures, last Sunday, including a contact ban that forbids more than two people meeting together and a recommendation that people keep a distance from others of at least a 1.5 metre (4.92ft) to 2 metres (6.56ft).

According to the latest figures compiled from global reports by Johns Hopkins University, at least 640,500 people have been infected by COVID-19 worldwide and over 29,800 people have died. There are currently 56,202 cases confirmed in Germany with at least 403 deaths.

More videos

Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

AP Top Stories May 11 A