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Australia’s Supply Crisis Escalates As Painkillers Disappear From Shelves


Australia’s Supply Crisis Escalates As Painkillers Disappear From Shelves

If you've been to the supermarket in the last few days it's likely you've noticed supply issues are hitting retailers hard.

Fresh fruit, vegetables and meat have all started to disappear, along with toilet paper, rice and other essentials.

Now people are reporting Panadol, Neurofen and other pharmaceuticals are joining the empty shelves as panic escalates around the Omicron wave of Covid-19.

corleve / Alamy Stock Photo
corleve / Alamy Stock Photo

Retail and supply chain workers are being forced to isolate either due to a positive coronavirus test or they're a close contact.

Urgent talks are currently underway about which business sectors need to have Covid-19 isolation rules relaxed to assist in staff shortages.

Industry groups met with government officials earlier this week and those talks are set to continue until they land on an agreement.

Nationals Senator Matt Canavan said sensible rules around isolation and quarantine requirements are needed.


"We need to keep our supermarkets stocked, maybe keep KFC open, keep popcorn chicken rolling, all those things that we need to have," he told Sky News.

SOPA Images Limited / Alamy Stock Photo
SOPA Images Limited / Alamy Stock Photo

"We don't really need popcorn chicken but we do need to have a functioning economy to supply people with essential items."

KFC has removed items from its menu due to chicken shortages while some supermarkets have issued per-packet restrictions on fresh meat and other items in a bid to stop panic buying.


McDonald's has also reportedly had to cut their opening hours to deal with staff shortages.

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee released preliminary advice earlier this week for grocery supply workers that allows them to come out of isolation and go back to work if they test negative after being a close contact.

Richard Milnes / Stockimo / Alamy Stock Photo
Richard Milnes / Stockimo / Alamy Stock Photo

Australian Medical Association Vice President Chris Moy said more rapid antigen tests are needed to safely implement the change.


"The biggest problem at the moment is we are lacking rapid antigen tests," he told Sky News on Wednesday.

"We need a lot of them because the problem with scrapping close contact rules is the potential to accelerate the pandemic.

"If you had enough RATs you could test those people to make sure - before they go out for their shift - they are not infectious or much less likely (to be so)."

RATs are currently so scarce we're seeing ridiculous efforts like brand giveaways promoting them.


The Care Pack Co, a small candle business in Sydney's North Shore, was slammed flack earlier this week for offering a RATs giveaway along with their 'RONA' candle.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is due to meet with the National Coordinating Mechanism body today (January 12) and ministers to discuss possible changes to the AHPPC advice.

Featured Image Credit: corleve / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Omicron, covid, News, Australia

Hannah Blackiston
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