Sign of the concern aroused by the new coronavirus in the country, several pharmacies are currently experiencing stockouts for protective masks.
TVA News called or went to some twenty pharmacies in Montreal, Laval, Longueuil, Châteauguay, Sorel-Tracy and Joliette on Tuesday to try to obtain protective masks against the flu.
The observation is the same almost everywhere: the shelves have been empty for a few days, and it is impossible for some pharmacists to order them.
“Our suppliers are currently out of stock. We try to ask our representatives to send them to us, but we no longer have masks, ”explained Alexia Chereau, a pharmacy technician at Uniprix, in Montreal.
“We no longer have a mask currently […]. We are anxious, because we have heard that there have been deaths. It is that, above all, that causes anxiety in people, “added pharmacist Nirvishi Jawaheer, owner of a branch of the Jean Coutu banner on rue Jean-Talon, in Montreal.
A Montreal pharmacist who still has some in stock even decided to limit the purchase to two boxes per family.
Some people turn to the Internet to get these masks, but they have to be willing to pay dearly. Among other things, on the Amazon site, prices have skyrocketed.
Masks can be effective in slowing the spread of the disease by patients with the virus by limiting the projection of droplets propelled with cough.
D Dr. Karl Weiss, a microbiologist specializing in infectious diseases, does not believe that the purchase of masks is justified at this time. “We are certainly not in the same situation as in the Wuhan region of China. I think people should take this with a grain of salt and not rush to buy masks, “said the specialist, echoing the health authorities who believe that the risk of spread of the virus is low in the country.