Panic stricken China hoards anti-diarrhoea drugs as WeChat post claims ‘gastrointestinal signs’ of XBB Covid variant

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Panic stricken China hoards anti-diarrhoea drugs as WeChat post claims 'gastrointestinal symptoms' of XBB Covid variant

File photograph – Residents sporting masks line up throughout a chilly day outdoors a pharmacy to buy drugs in preparation for a doable wave of COVID-19 outbreaks in Beijing on 13 December 2022. AP

Beijing: Rumours of a brand new Covid-19 wave pushed by Omicron subvariant XBB have led residents to refill on anti-diarrhoea drugs.

Health consultants have been making an attempt to quash the rumours, guaranteeing that diarrhoea shouldn’t be a symptom of Covid brought on by the XBB subvariant. They have additionally stated that China is “extremely unlikely” to see a brand new wave of the virus throughout the subsequent three months.

The efforts made by well being consultants to ease the panic among the many public have nonetheless failed with folks hoarding up medicines and oximeters.

Rumours unfold on WeChat

The panic shopping for began when a person posted on WeChat about how harmful and transmissive the XBB variant is that’s “circulating abroad” and requested folks to refill on medicines like “diosmectite rehydration salts,” in response to South China Morning Post.

In the post, the person additionally talked about that the XBB.1.5 variant has now turn into the dominant pressure in US and the way it’s extra lethal than ever.

A screenshot of the stated post didn’t take lengthy to get viral, triggering panic shopping for of medicines together with anti-diarrhoeal drugs on the idea that the brand new pressure causes gastrointestinal signs.

Posts accompanied with hashtags “diosmectite”, an over-the-counter gastrointestinal drug, and “how to guard against the XBB strain” quickly grew to become trending subjects on China’s equal of Twitter known as Weibo.

A Weibo person from the southwestern province of Guangxi stated, “Some pharmacies really have nothing left.”

“Ibuprofen, paracetamol – both oral and rectal, thermometers, masks, cough syrup, medicine for colds – they are all no longer available. Now we cannot even get diosmectite,” the person added.

Pharmacies throughout Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen reported that they’d run out of anti-diarrhoea drugs for each adults and kids.

WeChat person behind viral post known as in police station

Soon after his post went viral, the person based mostly within the jap Chinese metropolis of Wuxi clarified that his post was solely meant for his mates to see and that he by no means meant to trigger panic.

On Monday, he was summoned to an area police station to make a press release and was suggested to not post “anything that wasn’t factual,” the person informed China National Radio.

‘No evidence’ of XBB inflicting diarrhoea

Health consultants have been urging residents to not take anti-diarrhoea drugs in extra. Yang Yiheng, chief pharmacist on the Peking University Third Hospital stated that if taken often and excessively, diosmectite could trigger constipation.

“The main principle of treatment for diarrhoea is to prevent dehydration. The amount of fluid that is expelled has to be replaced,” Yang informed Beijing Daily.

The National Health Body of China’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention have additionally urged folks to be “reasonable” whereas shopping for medicines and never hoard them.

Xu Wenbo, head of China CDC’s National Institute for Viral Disease Control and Prevention stated that gastrointestinal signs should not unique to the XBB variant. He added that there’s “no evidence” that the subvariant would set off extreme gastronomical manifestations among the many contaminated.

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