Face masks selling out on island stores

(Photo courtesy Fox News)

As people try to protect themselves from a mysterious new virus that has spread from China, face masks have reportedly sold out in many island stores.

According to some local pharmacies across the island, disposable surgical-style mask supplies have sold out of in the midst of the coronavirus that has crippled China and has since spread to several other countries.

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Pharmacy locations that are stocked with masks are selling a box of 50 starting at $9 and ranging up to $15 a box and claim there’s no price gouging amidst the shortage.

While no cases of coronavirus have been reported in either the CNMI or Guam, local officials from the Department of Public Health and the Guam airport held a meeting to implement protocols for incoming passenger screenings and health checks.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, five cases of what is known as coronavirus has been confirmed in people in Washington, Illinois, California, and Arizona, with a further 73 individuals awaiting results.

Chinese authorities are imposing quarantines and restricting travel throughout the country. They have confirmed that the official death toll from the coronavirus exceeds 100 while the number of confirmed cases has approached 5,000.