Lagos Supermarkets Hoarding Face Masks, Hand Sanitizers Amid Coronavirus Fears

As fears of a coronavirus pandemic sweep across the country, Nigerians have been buying up face masks, hand sanitizer at skyrocketing prices.

The first case of the novel coronavirus disease was detected in Lagos was announced by the Federal Ministry of Health on February 28. The ministry of health disclosed that an Italian man was the index case, who had arrived in the country aboard a Turkish Airlines flight.

After the news broke, Lagosians trooped to supermarkets and pharmacies to purchase coronavirus-related products. Thus, face masks and hand sanitizers became hot commodities, especially in Lagos.

Certain precautionary measures are expected to be taken by supermarkets and pharmacies since lots of customers troop in daily and they are also expected to provide these protection products at demands.

On March 10, checks by Information Nigeria reveals that hand sanitizers were completely off the shelf at a supermarket located at Adeniran Ogunsanya, Surulere, Lagos.

During a friendly conversation with a security operative at the supermarket, the young man said the sanitizers are currently out of stock and are yet to be supplied.

The spot meant for the products had been replaced with liquid hand wash soaps, Information Nigeria observed.

A customer at the supermarket got really upset after she accidentally picked a handwash instead of a sanitizer and a cashier confirmed it was indeed not available on the shelf.

At another popular supermarket located at Tejuosho complex in Yaba area of Lagos, hand sanitizers were also out of stock, and the products replaced with hand wash soaps.

It’s quite worrisome to find out that hand sanitizers and similar products are off-shelf and are likely not available in most parts of Lagos.

When celebrities complained on social media that the prices of face masks had skyrocketed, many didn’t believe it. Although face masks aren’t really of any importance to those who are not sick but it is still essential if for those who have developed flu.

Information Nigeria visited a pharmacy in Bariga area of Lagos. While at the pharmacy, the pharmacist wasn’t willing to reveal the price of face masks.

A man, who was present when prices were inquired, secretly revealed they are actually out of stock due to a spike in demand. Although he affirmed the product is sold for N200, rather than the regular N50.

At another popular pharmacy in Lagos, a face mask costs 200; a bottle of hand sanitizer, 50ml, goes for N800

Multiple pharmacies and supermarkets in Lagos had hiked the prices of these commodities or claimed they are run out of stock.

Although, the disease isn’t extreme in Lagos state and the government has assured citizens to remain claim as efforts are being made to ensure the safety of its citizens.


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