Covid: China faces shortages of ibuprofen medicine, people line up outside factories

China is experiencing a sudden surge in coronavirus cases just weeks after the Xi-Jinping government relaxed its strict zero-covid policy. Estimates suggested the world’s second-largest economy could now face an explosion of cases and more than a million deaths next year after the sudden change in course. According to a report by The Hong Kong Post, it is certain that the Chinese government was ‘unprepared’ as it suddenly decided to end its zero-covid policy after protests across the country.

Now, epidemiologist and health economist Eric Feigl-Ding warns that the country is also facing shortages of the basic ibuprofen drug. He said people go directly to the manufacturer’s factory and wait in long lines to buy. The epidemiologist also said that if there is a shortage in China, there will be a shortage in the rest of the world.

In a tweet, “The shortage of basic Ibuprofen is becoming acute in China as well. It’s sold out in stores—people are now going straight to the factories that make ibuprofen—waiting in long lines to buy them. If China lacks, the rest of the world will.”

He also shared a video from December 19, “Westerners think there is now a fever and antibiotic shortage? Wait until China moves from manufacturing to export! Here—people rushed to a pharmaceutical factory to buy ibuprofen because it was completely sold out elsewhere! 18 Dec, in #Zhuhai City.”

He also shared news reports that major US pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens were rationing fever medicine. Due to high demand, companies have banned the sale of pain and fever medicines to children.

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In a statement from the companies cited by The Hill, CVS said it is limiting the number of children’s fever-reducing drugs sold in stores and online to two per customer. However, Walgreens has announced that a person can buy up to six medications per online transaction to discourage over-buying.

The companies said the decision to curb over-buying behavior comes amid increasing demand for fever-reducing medicines in children and rising number of cases of multiple illnesses.

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Earlier, the BBC also reported that the country was facing problems with stockpiles after restrictions were eased. Amid reports of shortages, people were rushing to buy ibuprofen, cold medicine and Covid testing kits.

The country is a major producer and exporter of the active pharmaceutical ingredient used for ibuprofen, and accounts for one-third of global production capacity, the China South Morning Post reported.

Feigl-Ding also said that China and the rest of the world are set to return to epidemic waves within the next 3 months that could potentially kill millions of people.

The epidemiologist put the statistics in his statement and claimed that studies of the current outbreak suggest that 60 percent of the population of China, the East Asian country, and at least 10 percent of the world’s population will be infected with the deadly virus.

He added that the number of deaths in mainland China was very little reported outside the country. He added that “the recent explosion in funeral services is due to a sharp increase in deaths – through a survey of hospitals, funeral parlors and related funeral industry chains in Beijing.”

As for vaccination, China’s vaccination rate is above 90 percent, but the rate has dropped to 57.9 percent for adults and 42.3 percent for people age 80 and older, government data show.

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Meanwhile, China counts only deaths from pneumonia or respiratory failure in its official COVID-19 death toll, a Chinese health official said, in a narrow definition that limits the number of reported deaths, as virus outbreaks surged after the epidemic subsided. – Related restrictions.

Deaths of patients with pre-existing illnesses are not counted as COVID-19 deaths, said Wang Guiqiang, chief of infectious diseases at Peking University’s No. 1 Hospital.

Whether from the flu or COVID-19, China has always been conservative in how it counts illness. In most countries, including the United States, guidelines state that any death in which COVID-19 is a cause or contributor is counted as a COVID-19-related death.

In effect, Wang’s comments on Tuesday publicly clarified what the country is doing throughout the pandemic. On Wednesday, China reported no new COVID-19 deaths and actually subtracted one death from the overall number, bringing it down to 5,241, according to a daily data issued by the National Health Commission, which gave no explanation for the decline.

The clarification of how China officially records COVID-19 deaths comes as cases rise across the country amid easing restrictions.

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