PHARMACIES across Tipperary are selling out of face masks and hand sanitising products as panic about the arrival of corona virus in Ireland is driving unprecedented demand.
Health authorities in Ireland are advising the public not to panic and to view the global outbreak of the Covid-19 virus in the context of population figures and how few people have become infected.
However, this latest advice has not stemmed the sudden dramatic increase in demand for face masks and hand sanitising products, as pharmacies in North Tipperary confirmed they have witnessed a massive spike in sales.
Paul Knox, MPSI, pharmacist at Coffey's Allcare Pharmacy on Castle Street in Roscrea told TipperaryLive that most hand sanitising products are completely sold out in all stores in Roscrea and that demand for other products, such as vitamins to boost immunity, have also increased.
“The demand for hand sanitisers is unbelievable and its difficult to get stock from suppliers because the demand everywhere is so high,” Dr Knox said.
“People are following the advice they are receiving from the HSE about hand cleanliness, which is, after all, good practice during flu season anyway - so in some ways is good that people are far more conscious about the importance of best practice when it comes to hand hygiene,” Dr Knox said.
Health experts have advised the public to vigilantly observe good cleanliness practice and to wash hands regularly and never cough or sneeze without covering the mouth and nose and where possible cough into one's elbow as opposed to onto bare hands if tissues are not available.
Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health Dr Tony Holohan has said he believes the risk of the Covid-19 infection spreading in Ireland is low when he spoke to the media following the diagnosis at the weekend of the first case of the infection to be detected in the Republic of Ireland.
Dr Holohan said staff and pupils at a school where a case of coronavirus was identified have been advised to limit social interactions, which he described as a “proportionate measure.”
The male student, who is being treated in a Dublin hospital, had returned from northern Italy after being in an at-risk area and the secondary school he attends in the east of the country is beginning a two-week shutdown as a precaution.
The National Public Health Emergency Team said all pupils and teachers were being asked to restrict their movements until the end of the incubation period and the Department of Health is not releasing the name of the school to protect the patient, his family and the community.
Dr Holohan added that measures are in place that will ensure any more cases are picked up as quickly as possibly and he urged other sports clubs who are reported to have cancelled training and matches not to do so.
He said the actions that need to be taken are those recommended by the Health Service Executive and that clubs and groups should contact the HSE if they have concerns.