Coronavirus panic: Face masks sell out, but do they work?

Pharmacists say they're almost instantly selling out of face masks amid panic over the coronavirus, but experts say they're unlikely to provide much protection.

While no cases of the deadly virus have been confirmed in New Zealand, residents have been rushing to the chemist to get hold of surgical mouth-covering masks as a precaution.

Staff at the pharmacy in the Countdown in the Wellington suburb of Newtown said their small orders, about three boxes at a time, were selling out within an hour of arriving.