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China’s Hopes Of Looser COVID Rules Prompts Fever Drug Rush

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China's Hope Of Looser COVID Rules Prompts Fever Drug Rush

(CTN NEWS) – People, weary of being caged up to follow China’s tough anti-COVID regulations, awaited clarification on a loosening of restrictions that may be announced as soon as Wednesday.

While the more circumspect rushed to get cold medications and home test kits.

State media fueled anticipation by claiming that China should try “to better synchronize epidemic policies with economic and social growth”.

After President Xi Jinping presided over a meeting of the Communist Party’s politburo.

China's Hope Of Looser COVID Rules Prompts Fever Drug Rush

People line up at a pharmacy to buy medicine as coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreaks continue in Beijing, December 7, 2022. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

After widespread demonstrations against some of the strictest COVID limits in the world last month, local city authorities swiftly relaxed different restrictions.

And senior officials started toning down their warnings about the dangers presented by COVID-19.

According to two sources who spoke to Reuters, China may publish 10 fresh national easing measures as early as Wednesday.

The possibility is that Beijing may gradually seek to align with the rest of the world.

And begin to open its economy again after three years of the pandemic, which broke out in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019, has increased.

However, the loosened restrictions, which have reduced testing and eased quarantine regulations, have sparked a demand for prophylactic medications among some citizens.

Particularly the elderly who have not received vaccinations feel more susceptible to the illness.

Authorities from all over the nation have recently issued warnings about limited supplies and store price gouging.

The Beijing Municipal Food and Drug Administration was quoted as saying in the state-owned Beijing Evening News, “Please buy sensibly, buy on demand, and do not blindly stock up.”

Shops were quickly running out of some of those pharmaceuticals in Beijing’s affluent Chaoyang area, which is home to most foreign embassies, entertainment centres, and corporate headquarters, according to a resident.

China's Hope Of Looser COVID Rules Prompts Fever Drug Rush

People wearing masks line up outside a pharmacy to buy products as coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreaks continue in Beijing, China, December 6, 2022. REUTERS/Alessandro Diviggiano

“The drugs were all in stock last night, but many of them are now sold out,” according to Zhang, a 33-year-old educationist who only revealed his first name.

“Epidemic precautions are no longer in effect.

“The majority of COVID-19 testing facilities are being demolished. As a result, it is best to stock up on some medications because the number of cases in the Chaoyang area is now relatively high, “explained he.

The rise in demand has increased the share prices of pharmaceutical companies, such as Guizhou Bailing (002424. SZ), which produces cough syrup.

And Xinhua Pharmaceutical (000756. SZ) manufactures 40% of the Ibuprofen marketed in China.

China's Hope Of Looser COVID Rules Prompts Fever Drug Rush

People line up at a nucleic acid testing site to get tested for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Beijing, China December 6, 2022. REUTERS/Florence Lo

DISPARITY IN POLICY

The authorities’ change in approach follows a series of protests last month that represented the largest display of popular unhappiness in mainland China since President Xi Jinping assumed office in 2012.

There have been isolated incidents of unrest, even though those protests fizzled out amidst a strong police presence.

In the most recent occurrence, videos shared on Twitter showed college students in Nanjing city singing anti-COVID protests on their campus. The video was filmed at Nanjing Tech University, according to Reuters.

Many people and businesses have long been frustrated by the unequal nature of the softening measures and the different interpretations of the rules from city to city.

In a statement on Tuesday, the European Chamber of Commerce in China expressed concern over “the general lack of coordination.

And policy discrepancies witnessed throughout China, as well as the lack of broad information on what changes are to be expected and when,” among other things.

For businesses and the general public, “this remains a source of uncertainty,” the statement read.

China's Hope Of Looser COVID Rules Prompts Fever Drug Rush

People wearing face masks wait at a traffic light to cross a street, as coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreaks continue in Shanghai, China, December 7, 2022. REUTERS/Aly Song

Messages from officials downplaying the health concerns of the virus have become increasingly frequent in recent days.

Moving China closer to what other nations have been saying for more than a year as they relaxed regulations and adapted to live with the infection.

The official name of COVID-19 should be changed in China to reflect the virus’ mutation, according to Gu Xiaohong, a top official in traditional Chinese medicine, quoted in the state-run Beijing Daily on Wednesday.

Gu also suggested that individuals with minor symptoms might recover at home.

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