A New Zealand man living in China has reported that amid much chaos ensuing in the Coronavirus epicenter, Wuhan, residents are selling used face masks at high prices to cater for rising demand.
According to an article from the New Zealand Herald, an expat living in Northwest China with his wife and children reported that fights are erupting over increasingly scarce supplies in the quarantined, panic-stricken region.
In some instances, sellers are pulling used masks from the trash and some masks are being sold for up to $50.
Some sellers would iron the masks out to give them the illusion of newness, while laughing at their deceitful deed.
The man has signaled “everything has fallen apart” amid the chaos which is seemingly running amok with terrifying footage emerging on Western social media platforms, despite strict internet controls and censorship from the Chinese government.
Given the situation, and fears of reprisal, the New Zealand expat asked for anonymity.
A doctor who blew the whistle over a SARS-like flu being treated at a hospital in Wuhan back in December was reprimanded with a misdemeanor, before tragically passing away moments ago from the deadly Coronavirus.
The expat said, “It’s getting worse by the day … everything has fallen apart here.”
He continued, “I see old ladies walking around picking face masks out of the trash and then they sell them on the street the next day laughing about it.
“When China says they’ve got enough and they’re handing them out, they’re not, I can tell you that now – there’s none available anywhere.”
The man went onto report that, being a foreigner, he was subject to greater discrimination, making access to fresh food and other supplies a greater struggle.
In a previous report by National File, a South African woman quarantined in Wuhan reported that some people would deliberately attempt to infect others with the virus by sneezing or coughing at people or public items, such as elevator buttons.