Sales in sanitation products have experienced exponential growth due to the coronavirus. One of the markets that is profiting most of all is the hand sanitizer market. Currently, stores are having to ration the amount of hand sanitizers each customer can buy – when it is even possible to buy them – and the products are being sold online at inflated prices¹. In the U.S., between December and January alone, demand for hand sanitizer increased by 1400%, sales rose by 420% and stocks sold out both in stores and online². The market hasn’t just seen this growth in America but also in the UK, Taiwan, China and Japan; where hand-sanitizer shelves in stores lie empty; and in Malaysia, where weekly sales were 800% than average between the 20th and 26th of January³.
But is all this purchasing a sign of good sense or simply panic? The answer: good sense! Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are proven to be highly effective in preventing the transmission of viral infections like coronavirus4 – in fact, good hand hygiene in general is the best way to prevent the virus5. Thus, it’s hardly surprising that the global hand-sanitizer market has seen such a huge growth in sales during the pandemic thanks to increased awareness of hand hygiene and support from organisations such as WHO – which encourage sanitation to prevent the illness and others like it6. Furthermore, they are convenient to use at any time, especially when you are out and about, since they don’t require to be used with water or additional soaps.
Another popular type of sanitation product is face masks. However, the use of face masks is only recommended for those who are ill or caring for COVID-19 patients, and not for all members of the general public7. That is because face masks are only necessary when you are in close contact with those suffering from the virus – since, unless people are coughing or sneezing near you, it is much more likely that the virus will be spread through touch8. Similarly, the use of gloves is only recommended for those caring from COVID-19 sufferers9. Moreover, warnings have been issued that, by purchasing face masks and gloves, the general public is risking shortages amongst medical professionals who need them10. Therefore, if you want to avoid the coronavirus, simply practice good hand hygiene instead!
By Helen M.