Dubai: Some popular brands of wall-mounted hand sanitiser dispensers and their refill packets have run out of stock in Dubai as companies, banks, schools and government offices have started installing the dispensers and stocking up sanitisers to prevent coronavirus.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) last week called upon organisations everywhere to be pro-active and start adopting preventive measures to check the spread of novel coronavirus, even if it has not arrived in the communities where they operate.
Private and government entities here have already been proactive in providing hand sanitisers in a bid to help employees and visitors maintain good hand hygiene, one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus, wholesalers and retailers of wall-mounted hand sanitiser dispensers told Gulf News.
Several corporate companies including Gulf News have taken the initiative to protect their employees and visitors.
The Indian Consulate in Dubai is among the government entities that have installed sanitiser dispensers. So far in the UAE there have been 21 confirmed cases of coronavirus with five recoveries.
“Without being panicky, we are taking precautionary measures. We have added hand sanitiser stations and procured masks for our employees, especially the protocol officers who frequently visit the airport. We are more cautious while attending public functions as well,” Consul General of India in Dubai, Vipul, told Gulf News.
Sumesh Das, who works with an engineering company, said the firm installed many sanitiser dispensers in addition to the existing ones in the pantries. “Our company has also given us wet wipes to disinfect our work stations,” he said.
While some schools have installed or increased the number of wall-mounted sanitiser dispensers on the campus, some are asking visitors to use hand sanitisers before entering the campus itself.
A sales executive with Hygiene Cleaning Products, a wholesale distributor of a popular brand of wall-mounted sanitisers, said a large number of sanitiser dispensers had been bought for Dubai International Airport as well.
Venues hosting events, banks and royal offices are also among the proactive buyers.
The sudden surge in demand has led to a shortage of wall-mounted sanitiser dispensers, he said.
“It used to take about three months for a container [of sanitiser dispensers] to be sold off. Now, it is happening in just two weeks as people are making bulk purchases.”
“Earlier, companies used to keep the automatic dispensers in some specific areas only. Now, they are mostly kept in the lobby, common passage ways and where there are more people’s movement.”
Altimus Office Supplies, which provides online delivery of hand sanitizer dispensers, has posted the out of stock messages on its website.
““Many corporate offices have been placing the order and now they have started calling up to check when we can supply. We are expecting the next batch in the second week of March,” said one representative.
Cleaning materials trading companies are also stocking them up as they are getting more orders, the executive from the wholesaler observed.
“We are still selling the products for the old price. But, the prices have gone up from the retailer’s side,” he said.
A sales executive of a cleaning material trading company that supplies wall-mounted hand sanitiser dispensers to online shopping giant amazon.ae and sells hand-sanitising products manufactured in the UAE, said the air cargo cost made the imported dispensers’ prices go up.
“Earlier, they were being shipped. Now, because of the shortage and demand, they are being sent by air.”
While the wholesaler is distributing a dispenser for Dh60, retail traders are selling them in the range of Dh75 Dh90.
Companies selling imported hand sanitising dispensers are awaiting the arrival of the new stock, while local companies that manufacture the refill bags have also reported shortage of gel pouches that can be used for refilling the dispensers.