Student wearing face-mask
NTU student Roh Jong wears a face-mask to protect against the virus.

A PHARMACIST in Nottingham has reported a huge increase in demand for face masks with customers stocking up to safeguard against the Coronavirus.

Harvinder Singh, a pharmacist at Glasshouse Chemist in Nottingham, has had lots of concerned customers during the past two weeks attempting to panic buy the masks to protect themselves against infection.

He added, “We’ve seen hundreds of people coming to ask for face masks, although we did sell out initially last week we’ve managed to obtain a few more.”

“I just bought fifty face masks.”
Alex Ziliang Zhang, International NTU Student

Experts have warned masks will not provide total protection against the virus, which is mainly passed through droplets in the air but can also be passed by hand contact.

But this has done little to lessen the demand, with Mr Singh estimating a huge price increase over the past week.

“About two weeks ago these were a lot cheaper, like a fraction of the cost but stock has either run out or there’s been a 7000% price increase.”

Pharmacist packs away face masks.
Pharmacist Harvinder Singh packing away face masks at Glasshouse Chemist in Nottingham.

But the chemists will keep stocking face masks while it can. “I’d rather keep them and sell them and have availability at a higher price rather than just running out,” Mr Singh said.

Despite the fact there have now been two confirmed cases here in the UK, people in Nottingham seemed generally unconcerned when asked about the possibility of the Coronavirus coming to the county.

WATCH: We asked Nottingham residents if they were worried about the Coronavirus.

For international students from both Nottingham universities wearing a face mask is  commonplace. But many have said they’ve now ordered more than usual as an added precaution.

Alex Ziliang Zhang returned to Nottingham Trent University from Beijing after the Christmas break and says that with the virus coming to the UK, he is planning to cover his face, “I just bought fifty face masks.”

Malaysian NTU student Roh Jong has struggled to find anywhere that still has stock in Nottingham, “It took me two weeks to find a box of masks, even Amazon was sold out.”

Boots online has also sold out, with the retailer saying that they are working to make additional stock available.

Boots website sold out of face-masks
The Boots website is currently showing packs of face-masks as out of stock.

You can find out more about the Coronavirus in Nottingham in our article here.