Duterte admin should have anticipated shortage of meds – Chavez

Duterte admin should have anticipated shortage of meds – Chavez

By Amado Inigo & Benjie Cuaresma

MANILA — The Philippines is not yet out of the woods as far as the Covid-19 pandemic is concerned yet, the Duterte administration seemingly failed to anticipate the new surge or third wave of the virus and the short supply of basic medicines.

So said Lucito ‘Chito’ Chavez, former Executive Vice President and Spokesperson of the Philippine Federation of Bakers’ Association (PFBAI), during a recent Balitaan Sa Maynila media forum.

Chavez added the present situation is compounded by the short supply of simple over-the-counter medicines like the anti-fever drug paracetamol among pharmacies, driven by high demand as many people got afflicted by fever and colds after the holidays.

As it is the so-called flu season amid the prevailing cold weather situation in the country, thousands of individuals are now afflicted with fever, colds, and flu compounded by the third wave of the pandemic and prevalence of the Omicron variant.

Chavez added that concerned agencies of the government people should immediately convene to discuss and address and arrest the alarming medicine shortage.

The former speaker of a major bakeshop industry group explained that advance planning pays a lot like for example, he said, “months before a possible increase in bread demand, bakers are prepared to meet the supply of baked goods. This is considering the fact that bread has only five days expiration.”

“Pharmaceutical companies, medicine manufacturers, the health department, and other authorities on health protocols should discuss the matter because even if people have money to buy but none can be bought, what should they do?” quipped Chavez.

Drug companies should also make a buffer stock as people are inclined to buy a few extra stocks in anticipation of family members who might also get sick along the way.

“A sad reality indeed when one is not asking for free medicine, yet he has nothing to buy,” Chavez stressed.

The Department of Health (DOH) is now considering allowing self-administered antigen test kits as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

New positive cases in the country already shot up to over 10,000 on Wednesday, nearly double the previous day’s count.

Fever, sore throat, and diarrhea are now among the common symptoms of the dreaded COVID-19.
(With reports from Benjie Cuaresma/ai/mtvn)

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