Drug traders cash in on Coronavirus

As the detection of coronavirus cases in the country has panicked the countrymen into buying masks, sanitizers and other safety gear, a section of unholy drugstore owners are busy capitalising on the situation.


People rushed to buy protective equipment in large numbers after three persons were tested positive on Sunday that created an ultimate crisis of stock while pharmacy owners have increased the prices of those items.

A 50-piece surgical mask used to be sold at Tk100 in normal time but now the price increased to Tk1800 to Tk2000 per box in the capital.

Most drugstores do not keep the mask due to higher price while some are selling at a very higher price.

Some pharmacies are selling china face mask for Tk120 to Tk150 a piece which was sold at between Tk20 and Tk30 per piece a month earlier.

Drugstores and super-shops are making brisk business on hand sanitizers, hand rub, hand wash, liquid antiseptic, disincentive medicine, masks and other hand washing materials.

Hand sanitizer and face masks are high on the list of products people have been stocking up amid the coronavirus outbreak, said drug traders.

Stock of instant hand sensitizers went out of stock in most of the pharmacies in the capital on Sunday while they made new order of those but got a little quantity against the demand, said pharmacy owner Abdul Momin at Mohammadpur.

Quamrul Hasan, business director of ACI Consumer Brands, told the All Bangla Newspaper that due to the rising awareness against coronavirus, demands for hand sanitizers, hand rub, liquid disinfect are high.

The most selling product is instant hand sanitizers and the second one is hand rub while people also buy liquid antiseptic and antiseptic soap also, he said, adding that the sale of those products is 5–7 times as high as they do at regular time.

He said they have increased the production of those products but they will also feel crisis of raw material if this situation persists for months.

He also said they are working to increase the supply of the products.

On the other hand, the surgical one-time mask goes out of the market a week earlier while the price of those has increased much.

Experts say cleanliness is the key to preventing the virus. It is best to wash your face before entering the room from outside. It is advisable to wear a mask when outside.

Salespersons at pharmacy have been passing a hectic time to tackle the huge rush of customers seeking to buy face masks, hand sanitizers and disinfectants after the first cases of coronavirus infection.

Ariful Islam, a private company employee at Mirpur, said after hearing the news of coronavirus he went straight to the drug store and bought five masks, hand sanitizer and liquid hand-wash for her family.

“Some people bought even more as they wanted to keep them in stock for use in the future,” he said.

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