Desperation and Fear: Panic leads to face masks theft and endless lines across Asia

The Extinction Protocol

Mask hysteriaPeople are desperate: Thieves in Japan have made off with some 6,000 surgical masks from a hospital, with the country facing a mass shortage and a huge price hike online due to the coronavirus. Four boxes containing the face masks disappeared from a locked storage facility at the Japanese Red Cross hospital in the western port city of Kobe, a hospital official said on Tuesday. “We still have a large number of masks — enough to continue our daily operations at the hospital, but this is so deplorable,” the official told AFP. Police have launched an investigation as they suspect the thieves intend to resell the masks.

Masks have sold out at many drug and discount stores across the nation as the number of infections have increased in Japan — one of the most affected countries after China where the death toll from the virus has hit 1,800. Public…

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