Pharmacies in Johor Baru running out of face masks

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 01 Feb 2020

In demand: A woman selling face masks near Pavilion shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur. Sellers claim they can earn up to RM100 per day.

JOHOR BARU: Pharmacies in the city are running low on face masks and hand sanitisers as they are not just being snapped up by locals but also Singaporeans.

The buying frenzy has intensified over the past few days as such items were now expensive and difficult to buy in the island republic.

Checks showed that popular locations for Singaporeans, such as the Johor Baru City Square shopping mall and Mid Valley Southkey as well as neighbourhood pharmacies in the state have all run out of face masks.

Even after the Singaporean government had announced that each household will be able to get four face masks from their local town council and community centre, many still prefer to head to Johor to get the items.

According to one Singaporean who wished to be known only as Henry, the lack of masks in the island republic was caused by visitors from mainland China.

“The Chinese nationals in Singapore are buying up the masks and sending them back to China,

“I am not risking a visit to the community centres for the four face masks, as it will be crowded.”

Meanwhile, a Singaporean accountant who only wished to be known as Ila said she even took a day’s leave to drive down here.

“I guess I am a bit too late as I was unsuccessful despite going to several outlets.”

Besides face masks, hand sanitisers were also flying off the shelves.

One Singaporean who only went by Ah Fatt, said it was difficult to get hand sanitisers in Singapore since the eve of Chinese New Year.

“Now it seems Johoreans are also feeling the pinch as everyone is stock-piling these necessities,

“I hope there would be a law soon that allows only a limited amount per customer for both of these items, ” he said.

Meanwhile, a pharmacist in Plaza Pelangi said that their stock for face masks and hand sanitisers had run out since Chinese New Year.

“We now have a booking list with some customers requesting to purchase up to 10 boxes of masks, ” she said, adding that they were unsure when the masks would arrive.

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