Paracetamol, pills, painkillers
(representational image)david pacey/Flickr

This might come as a surprise to many, but China has tightened the noose on the sale of over-the-counter medicines. Buying basic medicines such as ibuprofen, aspirin & paracetamol, which are commonly used for fever and pain, won't be possible without a doctor's prescription.

It is not clear what prompted the decision to ban the sale of basic over-the-counter medicines, but it looks like China is stepping up its surveillance tactics. The only logical explanation to this is that China can easily keep a track of patients who are consuming ibuprofen, aspirin & paracetamol, which also happen to treat coronavirus symptoms like fever.

If the Chinese won't be able to buy fever, cold and pain medications without a doctor's note, they won't be able to suppress coronavirus symptoms - hence leaving them with only one choice - get tested. If China has in fact taken these extreme steps, it is possible that people are already using this tactic to evade testing.

Coronavirus in China

Coronavirus in China

Despite being the origin point of COVID-19, China has only reported a little over 85,000 confirmed cases - of which 80,000 have recovered. The country has reported that the active cases are a few hundred at best with almost negligible critical cases.

China was the first country to shut down completely in wake of coronavirus, but it has been facing a lot of flak for notifying the deadly nature of the virus in its own time. As a result, countries like the United States and India have reported millions of cases and thousands of people have lost their lives. The debate on whether the virus was man-made in a lab in Wuhan has been settled yet, and several countries have pointed fingers at China for its negligence in leaking the deadly virus into the world.

A Chinese whistleblower virologist, Li-Meng Yan who was forced to flee the country after raising questions about the origin of the novel coronavirus, has once again said the Covid-19 virus was developed in a Chinese lab, a claim that has earlier been denied by both Beijing and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

"The Covid-19 was lab-modified based on a virus discovered and owned by the Chinese military, the Zhoushan bat coronavirus, ZC45 and ZXC21. My scientific report will be out soon," she said in a recent interview.

While many questions have also been raised on the authenticity of the number of COVID-19 cases in China. It is reported that the country is under-reporting the cases as it has started to open normal life for the people in the country. But it is moves like banning over-the-counter medicine sale that shows the government is concerned the virus is still not under control or it is preparing for a second wave.