PUTRAJAYA: Authorities are monitoring the supply of face masks following a surge in demand in the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said officers will also conduct checks to ensure traders do not hike the price of face masks, which is a price-controlled item.
"With the public being alert and vigilant on the spread of coronavirus, there may be a possibility of a shortage in supply.
"Officers are monitoring the market situation and if need be, we will talk to local face mask manufacturers to increase production," he said after attending the ministry's monthly assembly on Monday (Jan 28).
Saifuddin said apart from locally-made masks, Malaysia also imports the product from Europe and China.
On whether there is a shortage of food supply following the outbreak, the minister said this too was being monitored.
"If there is any indication of a shortage, we will take necessary action to rectify the problem," he said.