Coronavirus panic grips India, face mask prices surge by twenty times, hand sanitizers go out of stock on Amazon
- A sudden spurt in demand for surgical face masks has led to a massive increase in prices.
- Hand sanitizers, on the other hand, have gone out of stock on Amazon as people resort to panic buying amid fears of a coronavirus outbreak.
Hand sanitizersare still available for purchase at regular prices in retail stores and supermarkets.
While surgical face masks cannot protect you against coronavirus completely, people are lining up outside pharmacies. The reason is that these masks are not thick enough to filter out viruses.
Surgical mask prices shoot by up to twenty times
Nonetheless, people in Hyderabad are hoarding these masks after news broke out about two new confirmed cases of coronavirus in the city. Business Insider reached out to a few pharmacies in Hyderabad who confirmed that there was a sudden surge in demand.
As a result, chemists have jacked up the prices of surgical masks from approx. ₹3-5 to ₹25-30 per mask. Wholesalers have increased prices from ₹220 for a pack of 100 masks to anywhere between ₹600-900.
The situation is worse on Amazon. A pack of 100 masks costs anywhere between ₹1,775 to ₹4,850, suggesting how bad the situation is.
For example, this pack of 100 masks is currently available on Amazon for ₹3,699, which previously retailed at just ₹149.
Hand sanitizers go out of stock on Amazon
Hand sanitizers, which are generally available in abundance on Amazon, have now gone out of stock. We tried purchasing Dettol hand sanitizer on Amazon.
We tried multiple addresses in different states to see if the order was accepted, but nothing worked.
It’s not all bad, though – we checked out several retail stores and supermarkets in Hyderabad, and can confirm that hand sanitizers can still be purchased at regular prices.
Why is this happening?
People are rushing to buy face masks and hand sanitizers as they believe these products will soon go out of stock. This would leave them vulnerable at a time when there is a fear of coronavirus outbreak in Hyderabad and other parts of India.
While it is still possible to buy surgical face masks, the prices have gone through the roof. In any case, these masks are not effective enough to keep the dreaded virus at bay. An N95 respirator is the more useful option, but the Centers for Disease Control and Protection doesn’t recommend it just yet.
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