Motrish Gundumura, H-Metro Reporter
HAND sanitizers and face masks’ prices have soared as businesses cash-in on desperate people who want to protect themselves from the deadly coronavirus (Codiv-19).
A number of pharmacies in Harare are running out of stock of hand sanitizers and face masks while those which have the supplies are demanding a fortune for the products.
The whole value chain seems to have increased prices owing to demand by end users.
Speaking to H-Metro, Leo Revai who is a pharmacist at Bradford Pharmacy said they do not have hand sanitizers at the moment as some of their suppliers are selling them at higher prices.
Some of their suppliers are from South Africa and their own suppliers were also running out of stock.
“Right now we don’t have any hand sanitizers in stock as some of our suppliers are selling sanitizers at ridiculous prices.
“Our local suppliers have raised their prices and we cannot get some new stock at the moment because we can end up having a serious loss.
“Since we no longer have access to hand sanitizers we are now selling Salvlon Antiseptic that we had already from the stock and it can also work as hand sanitizers.
“However, we are facing a challenge with our customers, as they are only looking for hand sanitizers.
“People should use hand sanitizers that contains 60 percent alcohol,” he said.
He said masks were scarce as well as gloves and those who have them were selling at very high prices.
“Not only hand sanitizers are now expensive and scarce; even face masks and hand gloves are being sold at higher prices.
“A face mask is now going for US$2 from rtgs$5 and ordinary dusting masks are going for US$$15 from US$$2, latex gloves are now going for $15 for one pair,” said Revai.
Another pharmacist at Best Zone Pharmacy also said they are facing a serious challenge with their detergent suppliers who are now supplying detergent products for higher prices following the outbreak of coronavirus.
“We have stopped taking orders for hand sanitizers and face masks because we they are now expensive.
“We used to buy hand sanitizers and masks at a cheaper price but now 5liters of hand sanitizer is now going for US$70 and for us to buy it and sell it for our customers it can become a very big challenge and we can even lose our customers.
“As for the face masks we used to buy them at US$$2,20 before the outbreak of coronavirus in China and other countries and now it’s going for US$35 which is difficult for us also to sell to our customers,” said Best Zone pharmacist.
Some of the pharmacies are now using methylated spirit after every two hours to clean their premises to as hand sanitizers are now expensive and scarce at the moment.