We mentioned on Thursday how worldwide internet search volumes for "virus mask" had erupted this week as the spread of coronavirus becomes uncontrollable across Asia. The World Health Organization (WHO) has yet to declare an international virus alarm as the evolution of the epidemic broadens.
Pharmacies across Hong Kong on Friday afternoon sold out of masks that prevent the wearer from contracting the deadly virus.
The most popular respirator is the 3M N95 Medical Mask that has sold out in many pharmacies across Hong Kong. Any remaining N95 masks have been sold for as much as HK$60 (about $7.75) per unit, a massive +700% mark, considering the masks usually sell for less than HK$7.77 ($1).
Taiwan this week banned the export of masks for the next month while the government stockpiles reserves.
Taiwan's premier Su Tseng-chang @eballgogogo (**Eballgogogo????) said the island would halt export of surgical masks and N95 masks for a month from today.— Xinqi Su 蘇昕琪 (@XinqiSu) January 24, 2020
Su said Taiwan produces 1.88 million to 2.44 million masks a day, and the normal domestic demand is 1.3 million. pic.twitter.com/ONGhdDmwuU
Across Macao, residents have been hit with mask rations; only ten per customer is allowed who can present pharmacies with a valid government ID card.
WATCH: (1/2) Wuhan in an *unprecedented* lockdown to slow the spread of the deadly #coronavirus. @CBSNews flew out just in time! Filmed this at the airport Wednesday night. Everyone had a mask on. Felt I was living through SARS 2003 all over again. @CBSThisMorning @CBSEveningNews pic.twitter.com/mVbtQqcnnZ— Ramy Inocencio 英若明 (@RamyInocencio) January 22, 2020
So far, more than 900 cases have been confirmed with 26 dead. China has restricted travel for +40 million people. The spread of the virus has broadened from China, now seen in the U.S., Australia, Russia, Mexico, Scotland, Ireland, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Macao, India, Japan, and South Korea.
As we noted Thursday, Americans started googling "virus mask" after the first coronavirus case was confirmed in Seattle earlier this week. People in Washington, Hawaii, California, District of Columbia, and Massachusetts googled it the most.
Americans also searched "n95 mask," and were also curious where they could purchase these respirators. Many searched "n95 mask cvs," "n95 mask home depot," and "n95 mask target."
And already, some N95 masks have sold out on Amazon. It seems as the virus continues to spread around the world at an alarming rate – virus masks, especially the N95 – are becoming a hot commodity. Bullish on virus mask.
As far as world epidemics and the global stock market performance, here's a chart showing what could happen next: