Switzerland sells out of surgical masks as fear of coronavirus spreads

Switzerland sells out of surgical masks as fear of coronavirus spreads
Protective masks in a pile. Photo: MLADEN ANTONOV / AFP
Despite no evidence of the virus in Switzerland, panic surrounding the virus is spreading across the country.

Pharmacies in several cantons have sold out of protective masks, despite experts suggesting that these do little to stop the spread of the virus. 

The Tages Anzeiger reported on Tuesday morning that pharmacies across the country are out of stock of protective face masks, after consumers rushed to buy the devices. 

The newspaper reports that the buyers include not only Asian tourists, but Swiss residents who are concerned about the heavily-publicised disease. 

UPDATE: Two quarantined Zurich patients test negative for coronavirus

Experts have warned however that the devices do little to stop the spread of the virus, which is transmitted by tiny droplets in the air. 

Hans Hirsch, a virology expert, told the Tages Anzeiger that the masks are not a sure-fire protection against contracting the disease. 

“These masks do not fit the shape of the face well enough,” he said. 

“The eyes, as well as the mucous membranes in the face, are not protected.”

Representatives from the Amavita pharmacy chain told Swiss daily 20 Minutes that they have sold more than 24,000 units in the past six days. 

A supplier of the masks said they currently have back orders amounting to 20 times their annual turnover. 

While the masks had initially been sold to Asian tourists who were concerned they would be unable to get them back home, they have become ever more popular with residents of Switzerland. 

Two suspected cases in the canton of Zurich came back as negative on Tuesday morning, meaning there are no active or suspected cases currently in Switzerland. 

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica}
p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px}
p.p3 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; line-height: 14.0px; font: 12.0px Times; color: #0000e9; -webkit-text-stroke: #0000e9}
p.p4 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; line-height: 14.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; -webkit-text-stroke: #0000e9; min-height: 14.0px}
p.p5 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; -webkit-text-stroke: #0000e9}
p.p6 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; -webkit-text-stroke: #0000e9; min-height: 14.0px}
span.s1 {text-decoration: underline ; font-kerning: none}

 


Member comments

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.