Fears over the coronavirus have prompted some to stock up on hand sanitizer, and as a result, many stores in Regina are now out of stock.
While Saskatchewan has so far remained untouched by the coronavirus, people are taking precautionary measures.
“The hand sanitizer situation - as you can see - is quite empty right now. Lots of people are picking it up, as soon as inventory is available and being shipped to the stores,” said John Vancoll, the manager of London Drugs Regina East.
Vancoll said London Drugs did receive a fresh supply of hand sanitizer Monday evening.
“I think it was about four cases of various sizes and products. And [now] it's gone,” said Vancoll.
London Drugs isn’t the only store sold out of hand sanitizer. As of Tuesday afternoon, Costco, Walmart and Shoppers Drug Mart were all completely out of the alcohol-based hand cleaner.
Greens Pharmacy sold its last bottle Tuesday morning. Pharmacist Vipul Chheta said he isn't sure when new stock will arrive.
“There are quite a few inquiries about hand sanitizers and masks due to this coronavirus outbreak,” said Chheta. “I came to know today, it's on short order for all the brands.”
There are currently no coronavirus cases in Saskatchewan, and the risk for Canadians remains low. However, Saskatchewan's Chief Medical Health Officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, said it's not a bad idea to have a few extra items on hand in case of an emergency.
“As part of emergency preparedness, we should all have some dry rations or stuff that we can consume if we have to stay home for whatever reason – an ice storm or Covid-19,” said Dr. Shahab.
Chheta says that doesn't mean people shouldn't take some precautions, including frequent hand washing with soap and water.
“The coronavirus is not here, but there is a common cold, influenza virus circulating around,” said Chheta.