Coronavirus: Protective Face Masks Prices Hike in UAE as Panic Grows

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Coronavirus Protective Face Masks Prices Hike in UAE as Panic Grows

With the panic of coronavirus spread in UAE grows, most pharmacies run out of face masks, especially the high-quality N-95 mask, which causes third party sellers to hike up their prices to a hefty Dh699 on Amazon.ae.

N-95 offers more protection as they are designed to prevent 95 percent of small particles from entering the nose and mouth area.

Doctors and authorities have stressed on their efforts in keeping a close check on the growing epidemic as people panic due to the first case of coronavirus surfacing in UAE after a Chinese family returned from holidays to UAE.
Doctors and Authorities have urged people to protect their self-hygiene by using face masks to avoid any exchange of germs.

The sellers have been exploiting their position as a Coronavirus N-95 protective mask, which costs at a pharmacy between Dh150 to 180 (for a box of 20 pieces), is being sold online ranging from Dh150 to Dh599 (per piece).

The Department of Economy in Dubai (DED) has called on all pharmacies and retail outlets not to increase the price of face masks and nose covers.

The department said it is illegal to hike prices when there is a high demand with people taking extra precautions against the spread of Coronavirus. The department has urged all customers to report cases if they come across cases of hiked prices for face masks.

Meanwhile, pharmacies are reporting a shortage of face masks, particularly the highly-protective N95 masks. “Due to the fast nature that the Coronavirus has become prevalent, there has been an unprecedented demand for the N95 masks which are clinically proven to be able to support the reduction of virus spread,” said Jobilal Vavachan, CEO of Aster Primary Care, Aster DM Healthcare.

He added: “Our supply team has been diligently attempting to source and procure new stock with our suppliers who are supporting as quickly as they can with production and shipment of significant quantities. We have, of course, a duty of care to protect our frontline colleagues who look after the health of patients, so a quantity has been ring-fenced for our clinical and paramedical team to assure their safety. Our teams have been issued a procedure for caring for patients whilst also ensuring compliance with guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus.”

Coronavirus, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has so far claimed 170 lives and infected near 6,000 people across the globe.

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