ISLAMABAD: Following coronavirus outbreak, acute shortage of face masks and hand sanitizers has further intensified in the market due to demand supply situation.
Face masks and hand sanitizers are not available at any of the medical stores in any part of the twin cities, which shopkeepers have attributed to the higher demand, and lower supply.
It has been observed across the twin cities that some people are selling homemade face masks but their quality is dubious, and health experts have advised the people using such masks to use them after washing them properly.
Medical store operators talking to Business Recorder on the subject said that the suppliers were unable to meet the sudden surge in demand, saying the stocks of face masks and hand sanitizers dry up within no time after reaching drug stores. The medical store owners and the buyers told this correspondent that over buying of the items was one of the main reasons behind creation of a shortage of face masks and hand sanitizers. They said that before the outbreak retail price per face mask was Rs10 and highest quality hand sanitizer was available at Rs140 per small bottle, which now had reached to Rs40 per mask and Rs250 per bottle.
Recently, China has sent half a million N-95 masks to Pakistan but all these masks are for health professionals dealing with the treatment of coronavirus patients.
In order to deal with panic-buying, some pharmacies have even rationed sanitizers to one bottle and two face masks per customer. For now, supply of hand sanitizers is at an all-time low across the country.
However, there are stores still selling them at a reasonable price. Health experts have advised the people to wash their hands, for at least 20-seconds, with soap as a precaution against coronavirus.
Dr Mushtaq Ahmed Khan of Polyclinic Hospital talking on the mater said that the masses must follow the instructions issued by health authorities to avoid contracting coronavirus.
He said that mainstream media and social media had greatly helped in creating awareness among the masses on preventive measures against the fatal virus, which had effected over half a million people across the globe.