Unprecedented demand for sanitizers and disinfectants in UAE to safeguard against H1N1 virus

Published December 9th, 2009 - 08:25 GMT

There has been an unprecedented demand in the UAE for sanitizers and disinfectants to safeguard from H1N1 as people believe that is the most effective way to avoid catching the virus, according to information released by a leading group of pharmacies. 

The Pharmacy Group, which handles 5 million customers a year through its 30 outlets all over the UAE, has reported an increase in sales of the sanitary disinfection products and face and hand sanitizers. Ayman Hanbali, Marketing Manager at BinSina Pharmacy said this increase was due to public awareness about the ways of protecting oneself from the virus.

BinSina Group also reported high demand for medical masks including children at schools. Hanbali said that the pharmacy started to place new orders for such products to cater to the increasing demand and to prevent any shortfall.

Hanbali added: “Customers who are starting to buy these products firmly believe that they hold the key to prevent catching the virus. It is also the result of the extensive community outreach campaigns done by the Ministry of Health in public places.”

The Ministry of Health has run an awareness campaign in public places, including shopping malls, highlighting the importance of sterilizing hands after touching items which could be used before by a virus holder, which is the most common way of spreading the virus. The Ministry of Health targeted all social classes and student communities, teachers and supervisors at schools from nursery into universities as well as laborers.

Hanbali said preventive measures were the key, and washing one’s hands with soap and using sanitizing products that don’t need water shouldn’t be something only to combat H1N1, but a day to day habit as  there are lots of viruses that get transferred through people.”

World Health Organization said that transmission of such diseases was the quickest in these days as the world has become a small village. Health experts recommend the usage of sterilizers where it doesn’t need washing with water and it is an alternative to water and soap to kill bacteria and viruses.

Avoiding H1NI could be as simple as washing hands and drying them properly before eating and after using bathrooms and touching other people.

It is also recommended not to use the palm of the hands to cover the nose when sneezing, but use tissues instead. These viruses can be transferred through handshake, for example. Rooms should be opened to fresh air because uncirculated air breeds viruses.

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