Beijing Issues New Rule for Buying Medicine During Latest COVID-19 Outbreak

By Alistair Baker-Brian, January 24, 2022

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As Beijing’s COVID-19 outbreak continues, a new measure was recently announced to help combat the spread of the virus; if you have recently bought or plan to buy certain types of medicine in the capital, pay attention. 

It was announced at the 273rd press conference on COVID-19 epidemic control and prevention that as of January 23, those who buy certain types of medicine must undergo a nucleic acid test. 

Types of medicine include the following:

  • Antipyretic (for the treatment of fever e.g. aspirin) 

  • Those to treat coughs

  • “Anti-infective” (no specific details given)

  • Those to treat dry throat 

  • Those to treat sore throat 

You've probably noticed that the above medicines all treat certain symptoms of COVID-19. The logic goes therefore, that those buying said medicines may have said symptoms and may be a COVID-19 risk. 

If you bought said types of medicine within 14 days prior to January 23, you must undergo a nucleic acid test as soon as possible. If you bought on or plan to buy after January 23, you must undergo a nucleic acid test within 72 hours of purchase. 

For any other types of medicines, the new measure does not apply. 

Failure to undergo a nucleic acid test on time may affect your Beijing Health Kit (北京健康宝), thereby affecting travel and daily life. Some Beijing residents realized that their Beijing Health Kit had already been affected. 

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 One Beijing resident mentions that a number of people in their building have had their Beijing Health Kit affected due to recently purchasing medicine.Screengrab via WeChat

If you don't want your Health Kit to be affected and don't, for whatever reason, have time to do a nucleic acid test, double check that any medicine you're buying is not included in the above categories.  

The measure comes as a number of Beijing districts report confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

Fengtai district, which now has one high-risk and one mid-risk area, has been worst affected. As of January 23, all of the district’s approximately two million residents have been requested to undergo nucleic acid testing. As of press time, it has been announced that the district will soon start a second round of testing. 

Jessie, who requested we only use her English name, lives in a low-risk area of Fengtai district and shared her experience withThat’s regarding the nucleic acid testing process. She said that a community worker knocked on her door and informed her of where testing would take place. She said that after arriving at the testing site, the whole process took around five minutes to complete. 

Another resident of a low-risk area of Fengtai, who requested we only refer to him as Mr. Chen, told That’s that he also didn’t have to queue for very long. He added that the latest outbreak didn’t affect his craft beer bar in Fengtai which was open as usual, with all the regular COVID-19 prevention measures in place, of course. 

In other Beijing districts including Chaoyang, Shijingshan, Daxing and Xicheng, certain neighborhoods have requested residents to undergo nucleic acid testing as a precautionary measure regarding potential close contacts from Fengtai and Fangshan districts.

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Residents in Beijing's CBD line up for a nucleic acid test. Image via Alistair Baker-Brian/That's

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 linked to Beijing have been reported in Hebei, Shandong and Shanxi provinces.

As Spring Festival and the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games approach, official advice remains that residents should not leave and or enter Beijing, unless absolutely necessary. 

Those leaving should double check relevant COVID-19 prevention measures of their destination in advance. Those travelling to Beijing must show proof of a negative nucleic acid test result issued within 48 hours of departure. After arriving in Beijing, you must undergo a further nucleic acid test within 72 hours.

READ MORE: New Rule For Entering Beijing as Omicron Variant Hits Capital

As of press time, 39 Winter Olympic-related personnel have tested positive for COVID-19 upon entry into Beijing from abroad; meanwhile, 33 have tested positive for COVID-19 within the ‘closed loop,’ as reported by Xinhua

The above serves as a reminder of why most of us will not have the chance to be at the Games.


[Cover image via Pixabay]

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