WHO warns against hoarding of protective gear amid coronavirus scare


GENEVA (Reuters) – Demand for masks, gowns, gloves and other protective gear has risen by up to 100 times and prices have soared due to the China coronavirus, producing a “severe” disruption in supply, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday.

“This situation is exacerbated by widespread use of personal protective equipment outside patient care,” he told reporters in Geneva, adding that he had spoken to manufacturers and distributors to ensure supplies for those who need them.

He also said he could see practices like hoarding in order to ensure higher prices and called for solidarity from the public and private sector.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; writing by Nick Macfie; Editing by Andrew Heavens