Panic buying: Iloilo running out of face masks amid coronavirus threat

Face masks stocks in Iloilo City are running as residents prepare for the spread of the novel or 2019-nCoV.

France Kyle, a resident, told it was almost midnight, but he was still looking for a pharmacy where he could buy a facemask. “Pangalawa [nang botika] ito subalit wala pa rin silang stock,” he said.

(This is the second pharmacy, but they are also out of stock.)

At the pharmacy where France Kyle was supposed to buy the facemask, the staff was wearing a facemask as well. Management left two boxes of facemask for the protection of their team.

For some consumers, health care should be given importance.

“Dapat talaga mayroong [facemask] para mapanatili ang kalusugan,” said Charles, another resident in Iloilo.

At another drugstore visited by ABS-CBN, approximately 200 boxes of facemask were consumed within a day.

Related story: First possible coronavirus case in Philippines: Price freeze on face masks imposed

Panic buying: Iloilo running out of face masks amid threat

“Mga 200 boxes ngayong araw lang, Sir. Wala pa roon ang 30 boxes na naipagbili kahapon,” confirmed Angeli Guimera, Branch Manager of the pharmacy.

Consequently, Guimera’s pharmacy has ordered an additional facemask supply, but they are not sure when it will come because it depends on their supplier in Manila.

Secretary Francisco Duque III clarified in a press briefing yesterday that the price freeze for facemask is still imposed. The price freeze was implemented when some businesses took advantage of the Taal Volcano eruption and sold facemasks for as high as P200 each.

As for the update in the Philippines, DOH said there are still NO confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV in the country. However, more than 20 people who showed symptoms were under observation and testing.

An official from San Lazaro Hospital confirmed that the Chinese man who was confined and under observation for coronavirus died yesterday.

Lopez said the 29-year-old man died early this morning at around 7 am. He said the patient was admitted to the hospital on Monday and was from Yunnan, China.

The director said specimens from the deceased were already taken and were sent to laboratories for testing.