A pharmacy technician holds a box of face masks in a pharmacy in Chinatown

China Embraces Face Masks Shortages

By Jenny Ly
Medill Reports

As the coronavirus continues to spread around China and other parts of Asia, Chinese cities are reportedly running out of face masks used as a preventative measure.

Even thousands of miles away in Chicago’s very own Chinatown, local pharmacies are experiencing the same problem.

“There are many customers coming here everyday, and the majority are buying face masks, much more than than normal just coming for medication,” said Glenn Balas, manager of Peace Pharmacy.

As of Jan. 29, there is only one confirmed case of COVID-19 in Illinois and 165 cases nationwide in the U.S. according to the Center for Disease Control.

Photo at top: A pharmacy technician holds a box of face masks at a pharmacy in Chinatown. (Jenny Ly/MEDILL)