As the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) relaxes the “zero-COVID” policy, infections surge across the country, leaving pharmacies running short of medicines for the disease. 

Due to sudden rising infections, China’s medical system is under tremendous pressure. As mild symptom cases can now be treated at home, over-the-counter COVID drugs are in high demand. 

Since the end of November, orders for fever-reducing products and other related drugs have increased tenfold. 

The Financial Times reported that to deal with coronavirus infections in their regions, provincial authorities across China have started requisitioning COVID medical supplies, including rapid testing kits, face masks, and cold and fever medicine from local firms. 

Ten Chinese medical firms producing Ibuprofen, testing kits, and other in-demand products have told the Financial Times that all production now focuses on providing CCP demand rather than fulfilling private orders.

The authorities of Nanjing city asked four producers of rapid COVID testing kits to report their production and prioritize local customers.

An official in the eastern city of Nanjing told the news outlet, “It’s a desperate situation, but it’s every man for themselves.” 

He added, “We waited so long for the unbundling of COVID controls, but the relaxation was so sudden that local authorities, health systems, and companies in the supply chain were not prepared.” 

In Zhejiang province, 22 medical suppliers’ production lines are under CCP supervision to increase production. Such a move helped raise the province’s production of antigen testing kits by 76% in a week.

A testing kit producer in Huzhou said it’s being monitored by the CCP, saying, “The local government [CCP] has sent officers to our factories to oversee production, ensuring that it goes smoothly and that the products get online with their centralized deployment.”

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