A Catholic bishop on Monday urged Filipinos not to hoard on medicines, warning that hoarding might create an “artificial shortage” especially in the national capital.
“It is greed to hoard on medicine,” said Bishop Oscar Jaime Florencio, head of the Ministry on Health of the Catholic bishops’ conference of the country.
“Do not buy medicine if you don’t need it so that those who are sick can have access to it,” said the prelate in Filipino in an interview with Radio Veritas 846.
The bishop also appealed for calm amid reports of hoarding on paracetamol and other medicines for flu due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the country.
The Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) on Monday, January 10, reported 33,169 new coronavirus infections, the highest since the pandemic was declared in March 2020.
The department also recorded 145 deaths, while recoveries were up by 3,725.
The Health department also reported a record-high positivity rate of 46% out of 73,234 tests in its bulletin.
In Metro Manila, positivity rate, or the percentage of all COVID-19 tests performed that turn out positive, has reached 52%. This means that one in two people tested turned out positive for COVID-19.
Last week, several pharmacies and drugstores reported that some branded paracetamols were temporarily unavailable due to increased demand amid rising COVID-19 cases in the country.
CNN Philippines reported that Unilab, a leading manufacturer of flu and colds medicines, said there is a shortage of pharmacy stock bearing some of its noted brands including Bioflu, Neozep, and Solmux.
The firm said it is working double time to accelerate their replenishment as soon as possible.
Zuellig Pharma also acknowledged that there is a temporary shortage of certain brands of paracetamol in some areas following the heightened vigilance against the Omicron variant.
In addition, a number of people are getting sick due to various reasons, including the permeating colder weather.