Coronavirus: Bunnings store sold out of face masks

Empty shelf Bunnings Mt Roskill.
The empty shelf at Bunnings Mt Roskill shows no face masks in sight. Photo credit: Supplied.

Concerns about Coronavirus have resulted in staggering sales of face masks at Bunnings.

The Bunnings website shows nine types of face masks designed for protection from dust and paint fumes, which can be bought 'in-store only'.   

On Wednesday at Bunnings Mt Roskill in Auckland, the shelves which usually stock face masks were empty and a staff member confirmed that no more masks were available.

"Unfortunately, we do not have any more masks in at all. Everyone's buying them out for the Coronavirus and sending them overseas.

"There's a global shortage [of masks]. We could get more tomorrow or it could be next week."

Bunnings website face mask search.
The Bunnings website has nine types of masks, available in-store only. Photo credit: Supplied.

Andrew Halliday, Bunnings Merchandise Manager New Zealand, said that Bunnings is working with suppliers to keep up with demand.

"Customers can check with their local store team members who will have the most up-to-date information on availability.

"We strongly urge customers to follow the instructions of New Zealand health authorities to understand if a mask is appropriate for them," Halliday said.

The World Health Organisation has advised that medical masks can't protect against Coronavirus when used alone but says people should use them if they're taking care of someone suspected to have the virus.

"WHO only recommends the use of masks in specific cases: if you have cough, fever and difficulty breathing, you should wear a mask and seek medical care.

"If you do not have these symptoms, you do not have to wear masks because there is no evidence that they protect people who are not sick."

Along with face masks, supermarkets have confirmed that hand santiser and other antibacterial products are in short supply.