Some people in Japan are criticized for buying too many face masks when others are desperate to get one. And fights broke out.
The complicated outbreak of Covid-19 has resulted in scarcity of masks in many places. On February 26, Sora News 24 reported that many people camped outside a store in the shopping district in Yokohama (Japan) before opening hours to buy masks.
Right next to the lines of people waiting in line, some customers quarreled resulting in scuffle. Videos recorded and shared by passers-by on Twitter show that at least four people have been involved in two street disputes.
According to eyewitnesses, these incidents are all related to the queue to buy masks. Some people are annoyed when cutting across, jostling while others are criticized for buying too many masks to reserve in the context of scarcity due to disease.
Fights break out as people queue up to buy masks in Japan. Photo cut from the clip.
The Covid-19 outbreak, the first outbreak in Wuhan, China, has now infected more than 77,000 people worldwide. In Japan, there have been 739 new infections in the past 5 days. The land of the rising sun became the third largest outbreak after China and South Korea.
The demand for masks, hand sanitizers, disinfectants, etc. has soared, making items scarce. While the retail stores are out of stock, many online business units have increased prices to make a profit.
Many shops and pharmacies in Japan simultaneously display signs with the limit on the number of masks that customers can buy to avoid the risk of speculation and illicit profiteering in the middle of the epidemic season.
The stores limit the number of face masks that customers can purchase. Photo: Kyodo.