Demand for emergency supplies increases worldwide due to Coronavirus fears
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic at the end of 2019, sales of emergency supplies have been on the increase worldwide as consumers stockpile goods in a state of panic.
According to a report by the BBC, sales of protective face masks have been increasing rapidly despite many governments, such as the US, recommending that consumers stop buying them because they are ineffective against the virus and the surge in sales is preventing medical professionals from accessing them. According to Alex Azare, the U.S., Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, the United States could require up to 300 million protective face masks to meet demand, which is a 270 million increase from the current national supply.
In Malaysia, weekly hand sanitizer sales have risen by 800% while the demand for instant noodles and rice has caused a strain on supermarkets in Singapore. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was forced to release a statement recently to assure the public that there is enough food for everyone.
According to the Neilson Investigation, the stockpiling habits of consumers could cause harm to the fresh food market, as shoppers steer clear of goods that have travelled internationally due to fears that they may have been exposed to the virus. It is also predicted that products that pass through distributions or factory lines that have come from countries that are impacted the most by the virus will face some challenges.
There have so far been over 96,000 cases of coronavirus recorded worldwide, and over 3000 deaths have occurred as a result. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared that coronavirus is a global public health emergency.
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