Shopping trolley
(iStock)
  • Amid concern about the coronavirus, demand for trolley wipes has increased by more than 500% in the past two weeks.
  • South Africa is now running out, says a key supplier.
  • Shoppers are encouraged to take only one wipe at a time.
  • For more stories, go to Business Insider's home page.

Demand for trolley wipes has increased by more than 500% in the past two weeks, as South African shoppers try to protect themselves against the coronavirus crisis.

The coronavirus is primarily a respiratory illness, and it typically spreads via airborne droplets from an infected person's coughs or sneezes.

Viral particles can survive for a time on surfaces, but the coronavirus' lifespan on surfaces depends on various factors like temperature and humidity.

New research suggests the coronavirus can last between three hours and three days on surfaces, depending on the material.

Read: The coronavirus lives on copper for 4 hours, cardboard for 1 day, and plastic for 3 days. Here's how to disinfect these surfaces properly.

There has been a big run on hand sanitiser and other hygiene products in South Africa over the past two weeks, forcing government to introduce emergency price controls on these products

The Covid-19 pandemic has also resulted in vast quantities of trolley wipes being consumed, says Annette Devenish, marketing director for Infection Protection Products, the first company in South Africa to introduce trolley wipes to the market. The company manufactures Sani-touch trolley wipes.

She says consumers take several wipes as they enter the store and more as they exit. “This has created a very high demand for trolley wipes, a demand which is not sustainable over the long term as South Africa fights the growing infection rate.”

Devenish says one wipe contains more than sufficient disinfectant to remove any bacteria or viruses lurking on trolley handles.

Read: There’s a run on hand sanitiser in South Africa - but experts say it won’t entirely help against coronavirus

“In order to ensure that all consumers have access to wipes and that supplies don’t run out, we urge consumers to take wipes responsibly and use only one wipe on entering a store, and if necessary, another one on exiting the store.”

Devenish says more responsible and sparing use of trolley wipes per customer will mean that all shoppers will be able to access wipes and that stores won’t run out. “We have ramped up production of trolley wipes significantly in recent weeks, but despite this, supplies will run out unless shoppers can practice discretion and use wipes more sparingly.”

Also see our novel coronavirus update page, with everything important you need to know about Covid-19 in South Africa as soon as we know it

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