Coronavirus Shortage Of Hand Sanitizers
The increased rate of reported Coronavirus infection has led to a spike in the demand for hand sanitizer, hence some pharmacy chains like Boots and Lloyds both said they are restricting these products – which can help to prevent the spread of the virus when hand-washing is not possible – to two per person. This decision was in response to the inflated prices of these products sold online. NHS England has advised that washing your hands still remains a key preventative strategy to combat the spread of the virus. However, hand sanitizer gel can be used when soap and water are not readily accessible. Pharmacies across the country are struggling to restock and this is evident from the bare shelves in the detergent/hygiene product sections of the stores.
Amazon, eBay and other online sales platforms have hand sanitizers available at inflated prices.
A 100ml bottle of Cuticura Total – which kills viruses as well as bacteria – is sold for £1.55 by Boots. But some Amazon sellers are offering 40ml of the brand’s anti-bacterial gel for £24.99. EBay have gone ahead to issue a guideline on their policies of selling hand sanitizers in order to curb the inflation of these products on their platform. EBay has acted swiftly by sending out this message to sellers on their platform;
EBay requests that all sellers who have live listings offering items such as face masks, hand sanitizer gel or wipes, etc., review their listings to ensure compliance.
Any activity that doesn’t follow eBay Listing policies could result in a range of actions, such as eBay ending or cancelling your relevant listings, hiding or demoting all listings from search results, lowering your seller rating, enforcing buying or selling restrictions, or suspending your account.”
The spread of the virus is an on-going concern for countries across the world, particularly in Europe where outside of China, Italy has recorded the highest mortality with over 1000 recorded deaths. This has prompted to government to put the country under “lock-down” and people must seek permission for essential travels and justify leaving the country. Sporting events are being carried out behind closed doors with several events cancelled.
Here in the UK, the government is monitoring this rapidly developing situation and is making contingency plans. The Department of Health monitoring the situation every hour and has upgraded its action plan from the first phase, called the “containment phase”; where public health agencies and authorities, the NHS, and Health and Social Care NI (HSCNI) across the UK have established plans and procedures to detect and isolate cases of COVID-19 as they emerge in the UK. This entails a co-ordinated approach amongst Border Forces, port officials and other relevant agencies to communicate and cascade relevant information to the “delayed phase”. This comes after the World Health Organization formally classified the situation as a pandemic. The government has said it has a stockpile of medicines and protective equipment for frontline staff and would be distributing them when needed to contain the virus. Ireland has closed its schools till the 29th of March 2020 and there are indications that the UK government would do the same. In Scotland, gatherings of 500 or more people have now been banned. The government is yet to decide what measures to take in the “delay phase”, but has previously said they could include banning big events, closing schools, encouraging people to work from home and discouraging the use of public transport.
As the situation develops, we at Prime Health Pharmacy will continue to update the general public. We would also advise that people go to official government websites rather than rely on the information from social media platform because there is a lot of misinformation out there.