SINGAPORE: Sales of mosquito repellent products have soared across Singapore since news of the first locally transmitted Zika case emerged.
Retailers told Channel NewsAsia on Wednesday (Aug 31) that sales of such items have doubled or even tripled, although most of their outlets have sufficient stocks.
At Unity Pharmacy, sales of mosquito repellent sprays, patches, bracelets, lotions, wipes and clip-ons have tripled across all of its 59 outlets.
“Since news on the Zika outbreak, we have restocked the mosquito repellent items at our outlets more frequently. From once a fortnight on average, we now restock all mosquito repellent items on a daily basis to meet the increased demand,” a spokesperson for NTUC Health, which runs Unity Pharmacy, said.
The company is working with suppliers to ensure sufficient stocks at its stores and warehouse, she said.
“Prices of these items have also remained the same, and kept affordable through store promotions,” the spokesperson added.
Pharmacy chain Watsons, which has more than 100 stores islandwide, said sales of mosquito repellent products have more than doubled across all of its outlets.
At four of its stores in the Aljunied Crescent and Sims Drive area – where a cluster of Zika cases have been discovered – sales of mosquito repellent products have also spiked, and stock replenishments are under way, said general manager Dominic Wong.
Another pharmacy chain Guardian said sales of such products has increased by approximately 100 per cent over last week's sales, while the sales for the stores in the affected areas have spiked by approximately 300 per cent over the same timeframe.
MOST BUYING PATCHES, BRACELETS
Among the different types of mosquito repellent products, patches and bracelets are proving to be more popular, retailers said.
Watsons said patches were more popular among its customers, while Unity Pharmacy has seen higher sales and more customer queries for patches and bracelets, likely because these are viewed as “safer for pregnant women and children”, it said.
Guardian said all the mosquito repellent products it supplies, including patches, sprays and lotion, are in "high demand" at the moment, with patches being the most popular. It has arranged for emergency deliveries top key stores to replenish its stocks.
A quick check on online stores such as FairPrice Online and Redmart on Wednesday showed that majority of their mosquito repellent products are temporarily out of stock. FairPrice only had Hansaplast Anti-Insect Spray and Santecare Mosquito Repellent Patch in stock on its e-commerce site, while Redmart has a "Zika Prevention" section where products will only be available from Friday, 2pm.