The Consumer Council said it has received 21 telephone inquiries about mask prices. The complaints were mainly about consumers being unable to purchase masks and suspected cases of price inflation in response to the sharp growth in demand.
With the confirmation of the first case of the novel coronavirus in Macau, the Economic Services Bureau, the Health Bureau and the council carried out inspections to investigate the supply and price of hygiene items, such as masks.
During the inspection, the inspectors found that some retail outlets had no masks, and that this was mainly due to the great market demand for the products.
It was also revealed that mask selling shops had increased the price of masks. The Consumer Council reminds consumers that if they find that mask prices at commercial establishments are too high they can collect information, take photographs of the prices and send the pictures to the council.
The Times visited six pharmacies in the peninsula yesterday to find all had sold out of disposable face masks. At other pharmacies, long queues of residents and non-local workers were spotted starting in the afternoon.
The council has urged local residents to purchase masks sensibly. They further reminded the public that panic buying would result in an unbalanced supply, deemed disadvantageous for the local government’s management of the situation. JZ