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Updated January 9th, 2023 at 10:22 IST

US' medical supply chain disrupted due to wave of COVID-19 infections in China

“We’re looking a lot for potential early warning signs in the medical supply chain for any kinds of disruptions,” an administration official told NBC.

Zaini Majeed
China
IMAGE: AP | Image:self
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As COVID-19 takes a toll across the People's Republic of China, the United States, is once again risks, facing risk of falling short of medical supplies. Even as the US-based healthcare firms, and federal officials attempted to shrink their reliance on China for medical goods after the first wave of coronavirus in 2020, Beijing has still played a crucial role in supplying masks, latex gloves, surgical gowns, essential drugs and components of medical devices, according to news agency NBC. As China now battles another deadly wave of COVID-19 infections, the US has started to see shortages of medical supplies and Chinese factories are struggling to keep medical-related goods flowing out of its ports.

Shortage of medications for children, pain relievers, antibiotics

While China has kept the official figures for infections and death toll hidden, reports suggest that the hospitals have been overwhelmed with COVID-19 patient admissions. Subsequently, the morgues have been struggling to keep up with the dead bodies arriving per day. Most are rendered out of space, as dead bodies keep piling. Factories in China have been unable to meet the targets as workers have either been infected with the new variant of COVID-19 or are isolated at home. The US is now reportedly facing a shortage of medications for children, pain relievers, and antibiotics.

“We’re looking a lot for potential early warning signs in the medical supply chain for any kinds of disruptions,” an administration official told NBC.

 “At this point, we haven’t detected any current or likely disruptions, at least to the flow of drugs or devices or supplies of PPE (personal protective equipment) to the United States given what’s going on in China.”

Suppliers in the US told the agency on Sunday that officials have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation in China. They are trying to find alternatives to the medical shortages that are arising due to China's latest wave of infections that have stalled business operations due to a lack of workers. US federal agencies have been coordinating to monitor the supply chain, said the suppliers. Experts have warned that  China's latest COVID-19 wave could take few months to hinder the supply chain and could worsen with the trajectory of the pandemic in weeks to come. 

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Published January 9th, 2023 at 10:22 IST

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