ONLINE retailer Amazon has seen a 'surge' in the number of disposable masks being sold on its UK website, despite claims they are ineffective against coronavirus.

Disposable masks have jumped to the top of its best-seller lists as consumers become increasingly concerned over the spread of novel coronavirus. 

Earlier today, the government confirmed two of the UK's first coronavirus cases were being treated in an Infectious Diseases Unit at a hospital in Newcastle.

But according to the website, packs of 50 disposable masks are now the fastest-selling item in the Amazon UK's 'beauty category.'

Packs of 20 disposable dust masks have become one of Amazon's best-selling DIY products with a reported sales increase of 8,930 percent in the past 24 hours.

Meanwhile in its 'baby products category,' three of the four most popular items sold are variations of disposable face masks.

Relmos-branded disposable masks, retailing online for £39, have seen a sales increase of 846 percent in the past day according to its website.

However, Public Health England have said the role of disposable masks beyond clinical and clean environments are limited.

'There is very little evidence of widespread benefit'

Dr Jake Dunning, head of emerging infections and zoonoses at Public Health England, said: "Face masks play a very important role in clinical settings, such as hospitals.

"However, there is very little evidence of widespread benefit from their use outside of these clinical settings.

"People concerned about the transmission of infectious diseases would do better to prioritise good personal, respiratory and hand hygiene."