CHARGES await those individuals who will be caught hoarding medicines, particularly influenza medicines amid the threat of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

This was what Lawyer Rennan Augustus Oliva, director of the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI 7), said following the scarcity of supply of basic medicines such as paracetamol in the region, particularly in Cebu as confirmed by the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH 7).

Oliva said the NBI is currently on the lookout for individuals and groups who are reportedly hoarding medicines.

He believes that there may be individuals who would take advantage of the current Covid-19 surge occurring in some parts of the country.

Monitoring

Oliva emphasized they have been monitoring not just the hoarding of medicines and oxygen tanks, but also their prices.

They are also monitoring the alleged selling of fake medicines.

Oliva urged the public to report to their office those who are hoarding and overpricing medicines, as well as those selling fake ones, so they will be able to take action against it and file the necessary charges.

Scarcity confirmed

Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, DOH 7 chief pathologist, earlier confirmed the scarcity of supply of basic medicines in the region, but stressed that this may be the situation nationwide.

Loreche said drug stores in the region expressed the same concern, citing that they were still waiting for the deliveries to replenish their stocks.

As an alternative, Loreche urged the public to drink turmeric, ginger, lemon, vitamins, and green leafy vegetables while waiting for the medicines to be available at the stores.

The DOH and the Department of Trade and Industry recently issued a joint memorandum circular that enjoins retailers to limit the sales of 500 milligram tablets of paracetamol to 20 per person or 60 per household only.