Despite COVID-19 restrictions being lifted across China, a suspected number of high infections in Guangzhou (a city that had 8,000 daily cases when restrictions were lifted) has led to pharmacies running short on supplies and long delays for waimai and grocery deliveries.
Medications said to help with COVID-19 symptoms, painkillers, vitamins and test kits are all in short supply in pharmacies throughout the city.
China Daily says that “people are bracing for a greater risk of infection by stocking up on” such items.
Two medicines, a painkiller and a cough medicine recommended by the government to treat COVID-19 symptoms have sold out in most stores around the city.
Demand for such products in Guangzhou has become so high that the Guangdong government has called for “sensible purchasing,” as reported in China Daily.
On Tuesday, the province’s medical products bureau said: "It's necessary to prepare some short-term, emergency drugs, yet there is no need for hoarding them in large quantities."
The BBC has claimed that this could be the first case of COVID-19-related panic buying in a city when restrictions have been lifted.
Yesterday, two Guangzhou residents (who asked to remain anonymous) told That’s that their waimai lunch delivery was delayed by two hours and their grocery delivery from 盒马 (Fresh Hippo) arrived after midnight, twelve hours after purchase.
As people stock up on supplies, waimai delivery staff are busier than usual, leading to delays in delivery times.
So, why all the panic buying?
Since China canceled mass testing requirements and allowed infected people to quarantine at home, it’s extremely like that the number of infections has sky-rocketed (although official numbers - due to a lack of mass testing - say there are fewer than 3,000 new daily cases throughout the whole country).
This has undoubtedly led to a lot of people staying home and stocking up on supplies either to avoid the virus or because they are infected and self-isolating.
Panic buying is a pain for everyone, so it’s best to just buy what you need and remember, although infections may be high right now, the rate of death and serious illness remains low.
[Image via Wikimedia]