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Medicines run short in China as Covid wave surges

Due to surge in Covid cases in China there has been shortages of most common medicines (Pic. Courtesy ANI)

The huge wave of Covid infections in China has led to widespread shortages of the most common medicines used to treat flu-like symptoms and pharmacies have been told to ration the drugs.

According to a CNN report from Hong Kong, the local versions of Tylenol and Advil are nearly at drugstores across the country, fuelling anger and worry about the unavailability of basic medical supplies. Collective anxiety shot up after multiple state media publications started blaring the phrase: “Everyone is responsible for their own health first” in recent weeks.

To calm panic buying, regional governments have rolled out unusual measures to limit sales and increase supply of popular fever medications.

There are strict limits on what residents can buy. They can choose only one form of a particular fever drug, for example either the liquid or tablet form of ibuprofen. Purchases are strictly limited to a maximum of six tablets or 100 milliliters (3 ounces) of liquid per customer. And that’s for the whole week.

The Chinese authorities have started requisitioning medical supplies production across the country as millions struggle to obtain basic drugs and testing kits in the face of a surge in Covid-19 cases, according to an AFP report.

To address nationwide shortages, more than a dozen Chinese pharmaceutical firms have been tapped by officials to help “secure supplies” of key drugs according to local media reports.

Authorities have asked those with mild symptoms to stay at home and take treatment into their own hands as the hospitals are overwhelmed with the surge in Covid cases. But this has also led to panic buying leading to a run on everything from ibuprofen to rapid antigen tests.