KOTA KINABALU: The threat posed by the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has led to the steep rise in the demand for face masks and hand sanitiser here.
According to Bernama, several sundry shops, pharmacies and 24-hour convenience stores around the city had run out of the items.
A convenience store worker, who wanted to be known only as Andy, said the shop had run out of the items since last week.
"The new batch of supply will probably arrive next week,” he said.
The Health Ministry had advised the public to take several precautionary measures, including maintaining a high-level of personal hygiene, such as to wash their hands regularly with water and soap or by using hand sanitiser, to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail had also warned of stern action against those who take advantage of the situation by selling the two items at a higher price.
The Star had reported that face masks were in high demand in Johor Baru with consignments being sold out within hours. Instead of buying in pieces, customers are also buying in boxes.
The number of positive cases of 2019-nCoV in Malaysia currently remains at four, all involving China nationals.