KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 — The demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) and facemask seem to be on the rise parallel with the increasing new daily Covid-19 infections in Malaysia.
Recent Google Trend data released by e-commerce aggregator iPrice Malaysia, revealed that google searches for indoor and outdoor PPE as well as facemasks and gloves increased significantly this year with the worsening Covid-19 situation.
The data revealed that searches for face shields and cloth masks saw a 1,730 per cent and 677 per cent increase respectively when compared to last year.
Interestingly, the e-commerce aggregator said in a statement that the search for face shield increased by 50 per cent a day after the Kelana Jaya line train collision press conference on May 25.
iPrice attributed the surge in searches to the then Prasarana Malaysia Berhad chairman Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman whose controversial press conference made headlines for a few days.
In the photos that dominated the local news portals and social media, Tajuddin was only wearing a transparent face shield during his speech.
Meanwhile, the group said searches on cloth masks showed significant growth when the Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah urged the public to wear double masks for extra safety.
Overall, the study found that Malaysia’s Google searches on outdoor PPE such as surgical and cloth masks, face shield, KN95 and N95 masks as well as gloves grew by 223 per cent in the first half of 2021 when compared to the same period of 2020.
Other items like Panadol, thermometer, birth control pills and condos also saw a 320 per cent growth for the same period.
The report said KN95 ranked the top by garnering the most Google searches, while birth control pills obtained the highest search volume increase of 563 per cent when compared to the first half of 2020.
iPrice, however, noted that searches on Google Trends don’t necessarily mean purchases as many people tend to consult Google for more information about certain products.
The group said the data for their analysis was obtained from Google Trends early this month.
The group observed keywords such as “surgical mask”, “face shield”, “cloth mask”, “kn95”, “n95”, “gloves”, “Panadol”, “thermometer”, “birth control pills” and “condom” from January 2020 to June 10, 2021 for the study.
The comparison was based on the first half of 2020 and 2021.