By
with contributions from Noemi Di Natale, Shannon Tanwani 
 on January 28, 2020

LONDON — The coronavirus may have sent luxury shares tumbling and damaged consumer confidence in China, but it’s proving a boon for one product in particular: the surgical face mask.

Until recently, the masks were cheap, easily available, and an everyday essential for surgeons, dental hygienists and nail salon staff. Now consumers are paying inflated prices for the masks, while pharmacies across the U.K., Hong Kong, China and in cities including Paris, Milan, Sydney and Vancouver have been picked clean of them.

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