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China battles to keep hospitals open for COVID patients

Medics needed; drugstores told to limit ibuprofen sales to 6 pills per person per week

This sports arena has been converted into a fever clinic, with COVID-19 outbreaks slamming Beijing on Dec. 20.   © Reuters

SHANGHAI/HONG KONG -- Local governments across China are battling to increase health care capacity and are rationing anti-inflammatory drugs to meet the biggest surge in COVID-19 infections since 2020.

Two weeks after China began to roll back a zero-COVID policy that banked on mass PCR testing and lockdowns, the surge in infections is evident at hospitals flooded with patients. Many households, meanwhile, are having their daily food purchases interrupted as couriers fall ill.

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