Filipino-Chinese group to provide 600,000 face masks to PH

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Filipinos will benefit from a donation of 600,000 face masks amid a temporary shortage in light of the confirmed novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) case, the Federation of Filipino Chinese Cambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. said Friday. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 31) — Filipinos will benefit from a donation of 600,000 face masks amid a temporary shortage in light of the confirmed novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) case, the Federation of Filipino Chinese Cambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. said Friday.

The FFCCII said the donation will come from one of its member organizations, the Philippine Chinese Chamber of Commerce Inc..

"The face mask that will be donated are from the Filipino Chinese community. I'm sure more will be donated as supplies become stable," FFCCCII President Henry Lim Bon Liong told CNN Philippines in a text message.

The Trade Department said there is a temporary shortage of masks after the first confirmed novel coronavirus case was announced.

In Cebu for example, a number of pharmacies have posted signs in their stores that announced they have run out of stock. Masks cost around ₱190 to ₱500 for a box of 50. A local shop even limited each customer to buying only one box to prevent hoarding.

The first confirmed case — a 38-year-old Chinese woman — reportedly visited Cebu and Dumaguete before she was admitted to the hospital in Metro Manila.

Pharmacies in General Santos City also warned customers of a supply shortage.

The Chinese city of Wuhan is the epicenter of the 2019-nCoV outbreak. As of recent data, nearly 10,000 confirmed cases were reported in mainland China alone, including a total of 213 deaths so far.

Researcher Currie Cator and Stringers Roland Ortillano and Dale Israel contributed to this report.