Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez cautioned retailers of face masks and disinfectants against manipulating the novel coronavirus scare and rising prices as customers flock to shops in the midst of the virus threat.
Following Department of Health (DOH) confirmation that a Chinese woman was testing positive for the novel coronavirus, people began flocking pharmacies to buy face masks and disinfectants, causing some drug stores to post “out of stock” signs.
The official at Cabinet also urged the public to report any sudden price surge incidents.
Nonetheless, according to Lopez, the condition with face masks and disinfectants in several retail stores “out of stock” is temporary.
The Trade chief noted that ample manufacturers of the critical products are in the country.
On Thursday the DOH reported the first novel coronavirus case in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, 56 suspected cases of novel coronavirus were reported a few hours before Friday noon, nearly doubling the total of 29 on the previous day.
On Friday morning the death toll in China ballooned to 213 and nearly 10,000 were infected as the virus spreads to 18 other countries.
The epidemic has already been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organisation.