Coronavirus fears depleting medical mask supplies

Supplies of medical masks are dwindling at drugstores and online retail platforms as people across the globe race to buy them amid the coronavirus outbreak, according to Bloomberg

On Amazon and Alibaba, many retailers that have antivirus masks already have run out of stock. 

In China, Hong Kong and Singapore, people spent hours waiting in line at pharmacies hoping to secure a mask. 

And people cross the U.S. reported they have been unable to find medical masks at drugstores or other outlets.

Shira Doron, MD, an epidemiologist with Boston-based Tufts Medical Center, told local news station WCVB that people are taking masks meant for patients in the hospital, cutting into supplies. 

"We are worried about the mask shortage," Dr. Doron told WCVB.

Mike Roman, the CEO of 3M, which makes the popular N95 variation of the mask, told CNBC it is increasing production of the respiratory protection products to meet demand.

"We are ramping to full production. We're going 24/7," Mr. Roman said. 

He added that the company is increasing production of the masks across the globe.

As of 9 a.m. Jan. 29, there were 6,057 confirmed coronavirus cases and 132 related deaths.

More articles on supply chain:
Cardinal Health recalls 9 million surgical gowns
Devicemaker broke $2.1B contract to provide VA hospitals with critical medical supplies, lawsuit alleges
Reva Medical files for bankruptcy

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