DEMAND

Hand sanitisers 'hot cake' as Kenya reports first coronavirus case

In Summary
  • Online pharmacy, My Dawa, has told The Star there has been a sharp increase in the online daily purchase of face masks and sanitizers.
  • Kenya has become the first country in Eastern Africa to report a coronavirus case
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe
Image: /FILE

The demand for hand sanitisers has shot up as Kenya reports it’s the first case of coronavirus.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe while announcing the country’s first case urged pharmacies and businesspeople not to take advantage of the situation to inflate prices.

Public transport providers are expected to provide hand sanitisers to commuters as one a measure to contain the spread.

Last week, a local paper reported that the price of protective masks and sanitiser had tripled in Nairobi on increased demand from local pharmacies and hospitals.

According to the paper, a box containing 50 units of the protective gear had surged from Sh500 to Sh1,700 on the wholesale market.

Online pharmacy, My Dawa, has told the Star there has been a sharp increase in online daily purchases of face masks and sanitisers.

“Now that coronavirus is in Kenya, we expect the demand for sanitisers to rise and possibly see a situation where demand might outstrip supply,” the online pharmaceutical said in a statement.

Even so, e-commerce platform Jumia Kenya announced it would halve sanitiser prices, a few hours after the country reported its first case.

“Half price on hand sanitiser! Retweet widely,” Jumia Kenya tweeted.

However, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, soap and water are more effective than hand sanitisers at removing certain kinds of germs.

“Alcohol-based hand sanitisers can quickly reduce the number of microbes on hands in some situations, but sanitisers do not eliminate all types of germs,” a post on the health firm’s website read.

The CS has urged Kenyans to remain calm as the government has put in place enough measures to prevent the virus from spreading.

Kenya has become the first country in Eastern Africa to report a coronavirus case.