Fear of deadly coronavirus causing mask shortage as concerns grow

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Not a single person was wearing a mask at Porstmouth Square in Chinatown Wednesday afternoon, except Betty Yuan, but not for the virus.

“Because I have allergies because of dust,” she said.

Yuan said she volunteers for a nonprofit, to help people in China.

Wuhan is the epicenter of the coronavirus that killed 170 people, there are thousands of cases.

At least five in the United States — two of those cases in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

Chinese health officials believe the source of the coronavirus is a seafood market in Wuhan.

“We try to make sure that the doctors in the hospitals have enough equipment, can prevent the other doctors,” Yuan said.

Yuan said her family in China are OK.

The main concern is a mask shortage and is working to buy as many masks she can afford to send to China.

“Not only my relatives but I would like to see the people being taken care of as well,” Yuan said.

At Cole Hardware, there’s apparently a shortage of the n-95 masks due to an uptick of sales after word of the virus.

“For most of the Chinese people that are coming here that are tourist, definitely they are bringing back for the plane and for to use for whatever they need to go,” Renato Geslani, manager of Cole Hardware said.

“We only have one stocking location up north in Rockland that supplies all the Bay Area, so everybody is ordering the mask at the same time so there might be a little bit of shortage before they refill,” Geslani said.

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