May 20, 2022

Paracetamol ‘ran out’ after Australians told to prepare to catch Covid

Australians are struggling to get their hands on paracetamol, following advice from the country’s deputy chief medical officer Michael Kidd to stock up to manage symptoms of the virus at home.

Professor Kidd’s advice has sparked increased demand for pain relief, leaving shelves empty and people scrambling for supplies as the virus spreads across the country.

Professor Kidd said it was likely many Australians would test positive in the near future, encouraging people to prepare to treat Covid symptoms – such as fever and mild aches – at home.

Panadol is sold in supermarkets and pharmacies. Source: Twitter

“With the increase in the number of cases we have seen over the past week in many parts of the country, it is likely that many of us will test positive for Covid-19 over the next few days and weeks if we haven’t already,” he said on Sunday.

“It’s important to be prepared because you won’t be able to go to your supermarket or pharmacy if you are diagnosed.”

However, the advice has caused the products to fly off the shelves, leaving some unable to afford simple painkillers and leaving stores running out of stock.

Shoppers take to social media to show ‘disastrous’ supermarket shelves

Dumbfounded shoppers took to social media showing bare shelves in supermarkets and pharmacies.

“Gave up on finding rapid tests, approaching giving up on finding toilet paper or Panadol,” one user wrote on Twitter.

“And now there’s no more paracetamol…” wrote another, along with a photo of an empty shelf.

“Panadol is the new toilet paper. Fantastic. Great initiative,” wrote another.

“There is no Panadol to buy at Coles, at Woolworths at the 4 local pharmacies or at Aldi,” reports another. “There’s no nurofen either.”

Covid exemption for certain supermarket employees

Paracetamol is not the only item Australians are struggling to get their hands on, with rapid tests notoriously hard to find and supermarket stocks dwindling.

The explosion in Covid cases has forced thousands of workers into isolation, leading to severe staff shortages in the supermarket, from warehouses to retail staff.

Coles last week reimposed limits on some products, saying it made the decision “due to high demand”, and the temporary product limits on meat and rapid antigen tests would apply to in-store shoppers and in line.

“Thank you for your patience. We ask customers to continue to respect and support our team members, especially during these busier times,” Coles said in a statement on his website Friday.

Empty salad rack at Woolworths in New South Wales.

Supermarket shelves are empty due to the isolation of staff members. Source: Facebook

Woolworths told Yahoo News Australia last week they had “no plans yet” to do the same.

“Our customers have been shopping in reasonable quantities and are only buying what they need, so we don’t believe product limits are necessary at this stage. We will continue to closely monitor product availability in our stores. said a Woolworths spokesperson.

Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci asked for customers’ understanding in a statement on Thursday.

“When shopping with us at this time, you may have unfortunately noticed shelf voids or substitutions in your online order,” he said in a statement Thursday.

“This is due to the number of isolated people in our supply chain – from suppliers to truck drivers and distribution center team members – which, in turn, is causing significant delays in store deliveries. “

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