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Jakarta Post

Rush for masks leads to diminishing stock at Jakarta markets

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, January 30, 2020   /   01:25 pm
Rush for masks leads to diminishing stock at Jakarta markets Customers browse different kinds of masks on Jan. 28, 2020 at the Lindeteves Trade Center (LTC) in Glodok, Jakarta. (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)

The flu-like outbreak linked to the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) centered in Wuhan, China, has prompted Jakartans to buy up masks across the capital, including at Pramuka Market in Matraman, South Jakarta, where stocks of surgical and N95 masks have started to run out.

Aya, a vendor of medical supplies at the market, said that the masks were becoming harder to source amid the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.

"We started running out of stock when the coronavirus became a hot topic after Chinese New Year," Aya said on Wednesday as quoted by kompas.com. "N95 masks are usually for factory workers so they are supposed to be better [than surgical masks], and even the factories are starting to run out," she added.

"We still have our final stock of regular masks. People have bought out the N95 masks, so the rest are buying the regular masks," said Aya.

Anton, who was visiting the market on Wednesday, said he was looking for the N95 masks for shipping them to Wuhan, but could not find any.

"I have looked everywhere, but most [shops] have run out, including here [at Pramuka]. I need around 100,000 masks to send to Wuhan," he said.

The 2019-nCoV causes a flu-like severe respiratory ailment, and can spread from person to person by airborne droplets that an infected person expels when sneezing or coughing.

Official figures on Thursday showed that 170 people in China had died from the viral disease and that the virus had infected over 7,000 people worldwide, AFP reported.

Indonesia has no confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV infection to Jan. 29.(ami)