Mainland Chinese people are stocking up on items from COVID antigen kits, medicines for fevers and colds to vitamins. The move came after the country eased its COVID restrictions.

According to Reuters, online medicine platforms, pharmacies and drugmakers have all recently reported soaring sales. The sales of antigen test kits on e-commerce platform JD increased 344% in the week between November 28 and December 4 compared to the prior week.

At the Tongzhitang Dongdan drug store in downtown Beijing, the shop assistant told Reuters that fever medication was sold out on December 5, “I have never seen so many customers come to buy fever medication in one day,” he added, “We are trying to refill our shelves but it may take a week.”

As Chinese state-run media China Daily reported, a number of pharmaceutical lists have been widely shared on Chinese social media apps such as Wechat or Sina Weibo in recent days. The aim is reportedly to help people dealing with a possible infection at home.

Eight medications are listed in one of these catalogs, including the common cold medicine Lianhua Qingwen, the anti-inflammatory drug Ibuprofen and vitamin C tablets.

A wave of unprecedented protests late last month have led to the authorities’ decision to ease some of its strict COVID restrictions across the country. 

Since then, authorities in some places pulled back COVID testing as well as allowed infected people to quarantine at home. Many people are glad because some requirements have been relaxed. Yet, there are still many others who are worried about the future.

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