REPORT. Covid-19 in China: “I insisted that she give it to me, just to try, but she said no”, confides a resident looking for Paxlovid

Several dozen patients wait Wednesday morning outside the doctor’s door in this community center in the Tai Pin zhuang district of Beijing. These Covid patients or their relatives are ready to wait many hours to obtain a few tablets of Pfizer’s anti-Covid treatment, Paxlovid.

>> Covid-19: what we know about Paxlovid, the Pfizer treatment which will be available in France at the end of January

But not everyone will be served. The health center received only a few boxes, as the doctor explains: “We were able to get this medicine here, but it’s only for people over 65. And again, not everyone can get it like that. We’re saving it for those who need it the most and only for those who officially reside in the district”.

A pensioner leaves the health center disappointed: “The doctor did not prescribe the Pfizer treatment for me. I still insisted that she give me a sample just to try, but she said no, explaining that this medicine is too precious and that she can’t give it to anyone”he confides.

From Paxlovid to the black market

Because the Covid-19 epidemic is blazing in China. The country is currently facing the strongest wave of the disease in the world. The figures are partial, but leaks after a meeting of health authorities last month mentioned 250 million contagions in the first 20 days of December. At the end of the Council of Ministers, the spokesperson for the French government declared on Wednesday January 4 that an operation had been carried out at an airport on Tuesday “with the carrying out of tests on asymptomatic passengers returning from China. “One in three tests was positive”revealed the former Minister of Health.

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Haunted by images of overcrowded hospitals, many Chinese see Pfizer treatment as the only way to avoid a severe form of Covid. Faced with very strong demand, a parallel market began to develop. For the past week, the anti-corruption authorities in the capital have been monitoring health centers very closely and have announced that each box prescribed is traced to prevent the diversion and resale of drugs.

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