Demand drops as N95 masks priced higher amid coronavirus outbreak

Demand drops as N95 masks priced higher amid coronavirus outbreak

A person wears an N95 mask at Pramuka Market, Matraman, East Jakarta. (ANTARA/Andi Firdaus/Sw)

It is now priced at between Rp1.5 million and Rp1.7 million (around US$109 to US$124) for a box containing 20 pieces of N95 masks.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The demand for N95 masks among buyers has plunged recently at medical shops in Pramuka Market, Matraman, East Jakarta, as their price spiked amid fears over the coronavirus, COVID-19, outbreak.

"About two weeks back, many were buying up to later send it to China. However, currently, the demand for it has decreased," Muhammad Ichsan, one of the N95 mask sellers, stated here on Thursday, adding that he could regularly sell out dozens of boxes of N95 masks.

It is currently priced at between Rp1.5 million and Rp1.7 million (some US$109 to US$124) for a box containing 20 N95 masks ranging far from its usual price of Rp200 thousand (US$14).

The local heath office of East Jakarta responded to this price spike as a natural phenomenon of economical balance wherein "there is a high demand, there is also a high price and limited stock."

The downturn in demand is also affected by the Indonesian government’s decision to suspend direct flights to Mainland China as well as return flights.

Furthermore, Indonesia is viewed as still being safe from the virus outbreak since no reports had been received of cases testing positive for coronavirus.

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