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‘Sold Out’ of hand sanitizer, Providenciales residents heed health advice

#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos – March 3, 2020 — Globally, hand-sanitizer sales have surged to an average of nearly 300% over last year and the precautions are fueled by concern about COVID-19. Consumers abroad and at home appear to be heeding the advice of health officials.

In Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands the leading stores have run out of stock.

One grocer told Magnetic Media that they sold 15 cases of liquid or gel hand sanitizers this morning, alone.  Another reported their store was sold out of hand sanitizers since last week, while yet another returned a question to us, asking: “Are you kidding…they are long gone!”

Minister of Health Agriculture Sports and Human Services leads press conference on Monday March 2, 2020 following news that Caribbean had recorded its first cases of COVID-19 on March 1, 2020 including in nearby Dominican Republic.

Stocks are expected to be replenished this week at some stores in Provo and while households are stocking up on cleaning products and hand sanitizers, the bulkier sales were to the resorts and restaurants.

In Grand Turk, the leading grocer – Smart – confirmed that liquid hand sanitizer has not yet disappeared from their store shelves and that Grand Turk has supplies on island in the event of an unprecedented surge in demand for the product.

Turks and Caicos Ministry of Health has since January issued best hygiene practices including that hand sanitizers should contain at least 70% alcohol to be truly effective and information was dispatched informing how to properly wash our hands.

“When hand washing, use soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.”

Residents are also reminded to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands and to remain at home if you fall sick and to avoid travel when you are sick.

Environmental Health adds that law enforcement, medical staff and any other professional who may find it necessary to use latex gloves in the course of their duties are advised to first wash hands thoroughly with soap and water, before donning the gloves.

Washing hands after is also recommended.

In the United Kingdom, merchants have limited how many bottles of hand sanitizers any one customer can purchase at a time.

Online shopping is an option too; at least one shopper today in Providenciales informed Magnetic Media that he had ordered hand sanitizer online. 

It is reported that prices on hand sanitizers – liquids and wipes – have risen in recent weeks due to the demand and more stringent health protocols in the wake of the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19. 

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