Around 10,000 Hong Kongers waited to purchase face masks in Kowloon amid the coronavirus outbreak on Wednesday (February 5), according to a local journalist.
The announcement by a company that it had a stock of 10,000 boxes of face masks for sale prompted around 10,000 Hongkongers to camp out overnight and queue.
Some waited from 2 pm the day before in Kowloon Bay, hoping to purchase a box of masks.
Each box was for sale at the price of 80HKD per box of 50, whereas some pharmacies could be seen selling face masks up to 500HKD per box of 100.
The Hong Kong protests over 2019 caused China to restrict its companies from selling face masks or surgical masks to Hong Kong, thus leading to the current acute shortage in the autonomous territory.
Filmer and local journalist Marc R.
Fernandes told Newsflare: "After waiting in a very long queue, Hong Kong residents purchase face masks put on sale by the company Well Luck International Holdings in Kowloon Bay.
"Each person was entitled to buy two boxes each.
Around 10,000 people were estimated to be waiting in line with a queue going around several blocks of the industrial area of Kowloon.
"The Coronavirus [virus] has caused an acute demand and huge supply shortages for face masks in Hong Kong.
As supplies from China are being held back by the mainland, this Hong Kong company had to source these face masks from Dubai."
Hong Kong became the second place outside mainland China to report a fatality from the coronavirus outbreak.
Officials said the 39-year-old man, who had a preexisting condition, had traveled to Wuhan last month and was hospitalised on Friday.