A box of 50 face masks was recently put up for sale on Carousell, an online shopping app, for a record high price of S$120. When asked to verify the price, the Carousell seller said that the listed price was a “typo.”
In a recent report, prices for face masks have gone up drastically with demand at a high due to the COVID-19 outbreak impacting countries all over the world. An audio recording of Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing that has been leaked online has not done much to alleviate the tension between consumer demand and the supply of face masks.
According to Redwire, the audio file recorded Mr. Chan talking about Singapore’s face mask supply and how the recent initiative to give an amount away to Singaporeans was a risk. “We took a gamble. I took a gamble. To calm the nerves, I distribute four to everybody to use only when you are too sick to go to the hospital. To calm the nerves. But to issue four to every family, I burn another 5 million masks from my limited stockpile.”
To add more fuel to the fire, in a recent Facebook post, activist Gilbert Goh addressed the Carousell listing, calling it “the highest we have seen so far.”
He encouraged the public not to support people who try to make a profit in such trying time. “When you purchase face masks at an exorbitant price, not only are you feeding their greed but also encourage other sellers to do the same.”
He went further on to criticise the government, calling out the administration for its failure to intervene on such matters. “It looks like our government won’t intervene in this desperate period for masks and let the market forces decide so stay safe Singaporeans,” he said.
Mr. Goh extended a hand to the public saying that should anyone be in need of masks, they would be provided at no cost. “If you need masks urgently, we can post some to you – just let us know through the messenger and give us a few days to post it to you free of charge.”
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