Disposable nose mask.

M. Peters – Jos

The price of disposable nose mask has gone up exponentially in Jos, capital of Plateau state, Nigeria, following coronavirus scare on Friday.

Minister of Health, Osagie Emmanuel Ehanire, said on Friday 28th February that there was a suspected case of coronavirus in Nigeria.

The story has spread like wildfire on social media, causing great anxiety among Nigerians even though it has been confirmed that the suspected case tested negative.

In Plateau state the price of disposable nose mask in pharmacy, drug stores and other sales point has gone up exponentially.

Coronavirus scare: Pharmacies hike price of disposable nose mask in Plateau  Minister of Health,Osagie Emmanuel Ehanire.

Our correspondent gathered that the disposable nose mask which before now was sold between N350 and N500 is now sold for between N3,500 and N5,000 per pack.

A staff of one of the prominent pharmacies in the State who did not want to be named said, “It is quite unfortunate that the price of face mask has been hiked. This is a repeat of what happened during the ebola case.”

“The price of hand sanitizer shot up and it was even scarce. With the rise in price of face mask, innocent patients in hospital will bear the brunt because those who buy at high price must recover their money.”

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Many residents of Jos were seen on Friday using the disposable nose mask. This had caused panic business, prompting drug stores to increase it price outrageously.

Residents of Plateau state have expressed concerned about the coronavirus scare and worried about plans by relevant stakeholders in the health sector to ensure citizens’ safety.

A resident, Paul Uyima said he is praying fervently for the case to be arrested before it goes viral saying, “When we cannot handle common Lassa fever, may God not allow us see such because we are not prepared to handle such.”

Meanwhile, neither the State Commissioner for Health Nimkong Lar nor the State Chairman of Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Dr. Titus Dajel responded to the question about the State’s preparedness to handle such cases in the event of any outbreak as both did not pick their calls nor respond to text message to that effect.

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It would be recalled that the State is always plagued with Lassa fever and during the ebola incident, relevant stakeholders put diverse mechanism in place in preparation to tackle the epidemic.