The 2019-nCov coronavirus is now present in ten countries, including the United States and now France. This Friday evening, the Minister of Health, Agnès Buzyn, confirmed two cases, one in Paris and the other in Bordeaux. But even before this announcement, psychosis from China was starting to make its home in France.
"The emergency services are on alert" and "the risk of spread is moderate, even almost zero," however repeated the minister in a press point this Friday morning. Several pharmacies were however already in shortage of protective masks.
This is mainly the case in airport pharmacies. In Roissy, that of terminal 2 is out of stock. "We were robbed in one day," admits the manager to the Parisian.
Same story from Lyon airport. "The other day I sold more than twenty boxes to the same person," says the pharmacist. "These are mainly Asian customers who take the plane to go home." It is not yet in shortage, since the stocks of masks were large, but demand has increased sharply in recent days.
The professional, however, calls not to give in to panic: "The flu kills people in France every year, we do not panic," he relativizes.
Suppliers out of stock?
In Paris, pharmacies in tourist districts are also affected by the shortage of protective masks. "I sold everything in one afternoon," exclaims a professional from the 1st arrondissement. Yesterday (Thursday) I was asked all day, but I don't have any more. ” There too, it is mainly Asian tourists who seek to obtain masks before leaving.
A phenomenon which is also observed elsewhere in the country. The regional daily newspaper Les Actualités Nouvelles d'Alsace headlined one of their articles on Thursday evening: “Are you looking for a mask? The pharmacies robbed! ".
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And this problem does not seem to be resolved: the pharmacist of the 1st arrondissement says that her three suppliers are out of stock of FFP2 masks. Same thing for the pharmacy at Roissy airport. When contacted, the main pharmaceutical wholesalers did not respond to our requests.
Equipped with a filter, these respiratory protection masks are the only ones that can avoid human-to-human contamination.