Meanwhile concerned members of the public have taken to social media to voice their concerns about the shortage – as well as venting their frustrations at rocketing prices. Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told French radio station BFM a decree regulating prices would be published during later today. Earlier a pharmacists’ union told franceinfo radio the price rise was unacceptable, and called for government intervention.
Should the wealthy be laying down bottles of Carex as an investment?
In the UK, Will Sturgeon, head of content at PwC, tweeted a screenshot from Amazon of a pack of 12 50ml hand gel bottles priced at a staggering £115.
He commented: “At over £230 per litre, is antibacterial hand gel the new fine wine?
“Should the wealthy be laying down bottles of Carex as an investment?
“Obviously the rose is a bit cheaper.”
Others posted their concerns on the #handsanitiser hashtag.
Lauritz said: “So, there is no #handsanitiser to be found in Liverpool. My local Tesco hasn’t had any for over a fortnight.
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“But there is a major manufacturer, Delf, just across the river in Birkenhead. So where is it going?”
Kerri Walden posted: “Everywhere has gone mad!! Only wanted to restock my hand sanitiser for work and it’s sold out EVERYWHERE!!
“Looks like I’ll be without until they restock.”
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Others suggested making the substance at home.
James Tweedie posted a link to a wikihow article, commenting: “Can’t find any #handsanitiser in your local shop or profiteering scum charging way too much? Make your own.
“Both ingredients still available on Amazon (and elsewhere).”
Amazon.co.uk’s website gave an indication of how prices are soaring, with one 250m bottle of Cuticura gel retailing at £34.99, and a triple pack of Reynard Antibacterial Hand Spray priced at £18.95.
An Amazon spokesman said: “There is no place for price gouging on Amazon. We are disappointed that bad actors are attempting to artificially raise prices on basic need products during a global health crisis and, in line with our long-standing policy, have recently blocked or removed tens of thousands of offers. We proactively remove offers that violate our policies.”
Meanwhile, multiple reports talked of supermarket shelves stripped bare of the products.
Nor are concerns restricted to hand sanitiser.
On Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron said stocks of protective masks would be requisitioned, after it was revealed about 2,000 surgical face masks had been stolen from a hospital in Marseille.
And in Australia, retailers put strict limits on purchases of toilet paper on Wednesday, after shoppers stripped shelves in a rush of panic buying spurred by fears over a coronavirus, while the country recorded its fourth case of local transmission.
Express.co.uk has contacted the UK Treasury to ask if Chancellor Rishi Sunak was planning any price regulation measures in the UK.
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