Amid virus outbreak, Japan stores scramble to meet demand for face masks
Japan Times -- Feb 01
Drug stores in Japan are scrambling to restock their supply of surgical masks to keep up with growing demand as fears deepen over the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Surgical masks are often the first thing people use to protect themselves from infectious diseases, and as reports of the deadly coronavirus thought to have originated in China continue to emerge in countries around the world, they have become increasingly difficult to find.

In Tokyo, daily shipments of masks are arriving later every day and drug stores often find themselves with empty shelves.

“Every day we’re out of masks within a few hours of opening,” said a clerk at a drug store in Shinjuku Ward who asked not to be named. “It’s been that way since the outbreak started.”

Other stores nearby were experiencing similar issues. Most of them said surgical masks are typically sold out by 10 a.m. and daily shipments weren’t arriving on time. Others had to limit the number of masks each customer could buy to prevent one shopper from emptying their entire stock.

News source: Japan Times
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