COVID-19

Demand for sanitisers outstrips supply in wake of coronavirus reports

Yesterday, Cleanshelf supermarket was on the spot for overpricing hand sanitisers

In Summary

•The few outlets that have the rare commodity are selling it at high prices.

•With many public institutions asking offices to provide hand sanitizers, the question is what next?

Ushers at ACK St Stephen Cathedral in Kisumu sprinkles hand sanitizer to faithfuls on March 15, 2020.
Ushers at ACK St Stephen Cathedral in Kisumu sprinkles hand sanitizer to faithfuls on March 15, 2020.
Image: DANIEL OGENDO

Most supermarkets and pharmacies in Nairobi have run out of sanitizers as Kenya recorded two more cases of the novel coronavirus on Sunday.

The few outlets that have the rare commodity are selling it at high prices.

Dovey Pharmacy at Westlands is selling a 500 ml hand sanitizer at Sh 2500, the normal cost is around Sh 1000-1500.

Yesterday, Cleanshelf supermarket was on the spot for overpricing hand sanitisers.

The Competiton Authority  ordered the retailer to contact and refund all the consumers who purchased the 960 pieces of the Tropical brand hand sanitisers above the usual selling price.

With many public institutions asking offices to provide hand sanitizers, the question is what next?

Naivas supermarket ran out of sanitizers on Friday and has not yet received any new stock since then.

“Our suppliers do not have stock as they have not been able to import raw materials to manufacture the sanitizers,” said a stock attendant the supermarket.

Carrefour at Sarit Centre and Tuskys had also ran out of stock.

The case was similar at Goodlife Pharmacy Westlands, they do not have sanitizers.

“We have ordered for more sanitizers from our supplier, you could check later in the evening,” said an attendant at the pharmacy.

A quick check on availability of hand sanitizers on online pharmacy, My Dawa website revealed they were also out of stock.

Most customers had to result to purchase hand wash and antiseptic to sanitize.

Shopping in the supermarkets was still normal on Monday afternoon, however there were more full trolleys.

Merchandisers on the tissues alley were busier than usual as customers cleared the tissue shelves with most trolleys having a minimum of 2 dozens of tissue.

“We are refilling after every 15 minutes,” said Samuel, one of the tissue merchandisers at Carrefour Westlands.

Drinking water was also another commodity on high demand.

The demand for hand sanitisers shot up last Friday after Kenya reported it’s first case of coronavirus, with two more cases reported on Sunday.

Most supermarkets depleted their hand sanitizers stock that day and suppliers have not been able to bring in more sanitizers since then.

Those with remaining stock such as Carrefour had put up a limited purchase policy of two sanitizers per person last weekend.

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