Shanghai Residents Rush to Buy Protective Masks Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Residents in Shanghai, China, filled stores to buy face masks to protect themselves from the deadly coronavirus outbreak that has already killed at least 17 people as of January 22, according to reports.

Stephanie Jack lives in Shanghai and was searching for N95 face masks, which authorities such as the CDC recommend to prevent the spread of the virus.

Jack has plans to travel from Shanghai to Anhui next week for the Lunar New Year celebrations, which are expected to attract hundreds of millions of visitors from across China. She told Storyful she was unable to find any N95 masks online or in stores.

Jack posted a video of a store she visited, showing several people grabbing different kinds of masks off the shelves and discussing the differences between the packages.

“I got elbowed out of the way a couple of times and in the end gave up going to the front and filmed this instead,” she told Storyful.

In a further attempt to curb the spread of the virus, the city of Wuhan, where the virus originated, has canceled its Lunar New Year celebrations, and tour agencies have been banned from taking groups outside the city limits, according to reports.

The virus has been reported in Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and now the US, raising more concern among officials and citizens as China enters the busy New Year travel period. Credit: Stephanie Jack via Storyful