New Delhi: People in Hong Kong have started making their own masks as the city is grappling with shortage of face mask in the midst of Coronavirus outbreak in China.
In one of the most densely populated cities on earth, face masks have become hot property as people scramble for protection against the new deadly coronavirus.
Long queues sometimes thousands strong routinely crop up outside pharmacies when supplies are in, and there is anger at the government’s failure to have stockpiled.
Some are turning to DIY solutions albeit of questionable quality. Judy, a 73-year-old out shopping in the district of Wanchai, was spotted in a homemade mask.
“I found the material my handkerchief, and some non-woven fabric and I combined them and used some wire for the top, and some elastic,” she told to a leading news agency declining to give her surname.
While Hong Kong’s economy reels, business has been brisk on one street in the working-class Sham Shui Po district that boasts many fabric and tailoring shops.
A colourful array of cloth masks hang outside many of the cramped storefronts as shoppers haggle over the din of whirring sewing machines.
Elase Wong, a tailor, said she was giving away her face mask sewing design. “Some people couldn’t buy any masks… So if they can make them themselves, that would be great,” she told.
“I hope everyone can achieve self-sufficiency.”
The cost of masks has skyrocketed with scarcity and the government resisting price controls or rationing, as in nearby Macau and Taiwan.
A set of 50 simple surgical masks can sell for up to 300 Hong Kong dollar (USD 40), while the top of the range N95 variety is going for as high as 1,800 Hong Kong dollars a box.