As the coronavirus spreads across china, the authorities there have appealed to other countries to help with supplies of protective face masks.
Medical advice in china is to change face masks regularly, as often as four times a day for medical teams, which would require two million masks each day.
Under normal circumstances, China produces around twenty millions masks each day. That’s estimated to be around half of all masks made globally.
However, Chinese production has currently been cut to around 10 million, both because of the New Year holiday as well as the impact of the virus itself.
Across China, there have been reports of shortages and soaring prices, as people have rushed to buy masks.
China bought 220 million face masks between 24 January and 2 February, with South Korea one of the countries supplying them.
The US firm 3m, which is a major producer of high-quality face masks, says it is increasing production to meet global demand.
The UK-based Cambridge mask company, which makes high-quality respirator masks, says it has faced unprecedented demand, and has completely sold out.