The FINANCIAL -- Sales of hand sanitizer in supermarkets have drastically increased amid the coronavirus outbreak. On the auction site 50ml bottles of Cien hand gel, which can be bought in Lidl for 49p listed for £39.99 and people still buy them at elevated prices. Also, eecipes for DIY hand sanitizer are popping all over the internet. But if made incorrectly, it can be downright harmful.
Fear of the coronavirus has led people to stock up on the germ-killing gel, leaving store shelves empty and online retailers with sky-high prices set by those trying to profit on the rush. More is on the way, although it's not clear how long it will take retailers to restock. The alcohol-based gunk is convenient, but hand sanitizer isn't the best way to clean your hands. For that, soap and water still reigns supreme, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency recommends first washing hands with warm or cold water and then lathering soap for 20 seconds to get it on the backs of hands, between fingers and under finger nails before rinsing off. If you're not near a sink, hand sanitizer will do. But keep in mind that it doesn't kill all germs, the CDC says. Read the label and make sure you're using one that has at least 60% alcohol, the health agency says. After applying it, rub it all over your hands until they're dry, ABC News reported.
Sales of hand sanitizer in supermarkets have drastically increased amid the coronavirus outbreak, research has found. Kantar, one of the world’s leading firms in data insights and consulting, released a report outlining the most up-to-date grocery market share figures. The report highlighted the way in which fears concerning the spread of coronavirus have impacted consumers’ shopping habits over the past month. The Kantar researchers said the noted increase in hand sanitizer sales was “unsurprising” given the attention coronavirus, or COVID-19, has been receiving in recent weeks on a global scale. The increase in hand sanitizer sales represented a rise in shopper numbers from 468,433 in the same period last year to 1,156,102 this February, Independent wrote.
There are almost 9,000 hits for hand sanitizer on the auction site - and many are being sold at highly inflated prices as people try to stock up to protect themselves from the coronavirus outbreak. The Sun found four 50ml bottles of Cien hand gel, which can be bought in Lidl for 49p, listed for £39.99. Meanwhile, another seller had three 50ml bottles of Dettol instant hand sanitizer for £69.99. A similar 50ml Dettol product costs £1.80 in Superdrug and Boots. And a 30ml bottle of Purell antibacterial hand sanitizer gel rub was listed for £40. A number of retailers have warned of shortages of antibacterial products, such as hand gels, soups and wipes, as people try to protect themselves from illness. According to the latest data from research company Kantar, which tracks what people in the UK buy in supermarkets, hand sanitizer sales were up 255 per cent (UK) in February, The Sun reported.
"Sellers set their own product prices in our store and we have policies to help ensure sellers are pricing products competitively," Amazon spokesperson said. "We actively monitor our stores and remove offers that violate our policies." But that doesn't stop people from buying them at elevated prices anyway, CNN Health reported.
As anxiety surrounding the novel coronavirus swirls in the US, some stores are struggling to keep up with the demand for hand sanitizer. With the shelves empty and online pharmacies out of stock, people have resorted to making their own. But think twice about joining them -- experts are wary and even caution against the idea. Recipes for DIY hand sanitizer are popping all over the internet. A quick search reveals news articles, YouTube how-to's and step-by-step visual guides. The World Health Organization even has an official guide to making hand sanitizer, according to CNN. But it's intended for populations that do not have clean water or other medical-grade products in place. If made correctly, DIY solution could be helpful and even effective. But if made incorrectly, it can be downright harmful."I worry about people making their own sanitizer as it will be difficult to make sure that the concentrations are correct," Daniel Parker, assistant professor of public health at the University of California, Irvine, told CNN of the trend.
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