Thieves Steal 6,000 Surgical Masks From Hospital Amid COVID-19 Panic

The Japanese Red Cross hospital in the city of Kobe has reported themself the victim of a robbery.

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According to hospital officials, 6,000 surgical masks were taken from a locked storage facility. They were worth  ¥40,000, which is more than Php 18,000. 4 out of the 12 boxes kept in the machine room of the hospital were found to be missing. Each box contained 30 packages, which in turn contained 50 masks each.

While hospital officials deem the incident “regrettable” they assure the public that enough masks remain for their staff. “We still have a large number of masks — enough to continue our daily operations at the hospital, but this is so deplorable,” an official told AFP.

An investigation into the robbery has been launched with law enforcement suspecting the stolen masks to be resold to the public. A shortage of surgical masks has been plaguing Japan in light of the coronavirus panic.

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