People in Thailand worried about the corona virus and PM 2.5 dust particles have started hoarding face masks hand hand sanitizers. The hoarding has resulted in shortages of the products especially in Chinese tourism areas.
Many retailers of face masks and hand sanitizers in cities with a high volume of Chinese tourist are sold out. Those who aren’t sold out have limited sales to 2 per customer while stocks last.
Customers seeking face masks and hand sanitizers in northern Thailand have also complained that some retailers have jacked the prices. Above all to take advantage of the demand.
The prices for face masks and hand sanitizers has doubled and in some places tripled in the north.
To combat the gouging of customers, the Ministry of Commerce has propose to the cabinet that protective face masks and hand sanitizers be added to a list of controlled products.
Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanavisit chaired a meeting yesterday of the central committee on product prices and services. Which agreed to designate face masks and hand sanitizers as controlled products.
He said that the move was designed to prevent shortages of the items and to prevent profiteering.
Under normal circumstances, demand for hygienic face masks is estimated at 30 million a month. Recently, however, the demand has increased to as many as 50 million. Above all due to increased concern over coronavirus infection and PM2.5 dust in the air.
He has also confirmed that the number of face masks in the country is sufficient to meet consumer demand.