Coronavirus Update: Asthmatics Worry as Ventolin Inhalers Are Being Bought Up

Australians are facing another possible strain brought on by coronavirus. Residents who suffer from asthma are reportedly worried about a pending shortage of inhalers. Given the current pandemic, which has led to several household products turn into high demand items.

Now, as people are stocking up on asthma medication, the government of Australia is considering limiting purchases of Ventolin inhalers to one at a time in order to prevent a shortage, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. Right now, some pharmacists have been reporting that people are buying up to 15 inhalers at a time. In order to keep up with the overwhelming demand, stores have been ordering months' worth of stock, instead of the usual two weeks supply. Additionally, false information about how the inhalers can be used to combat coronavirus.

As a result, it's prompted asthma sufferers to weigh in on social media.

"For those who are buying Ventolin without being asthmatic, Ventolin is only to help open airways. It does not help with coronavirus symptoms in any way," tweeted one person. "Stop panic buying life-saving drugs for people asthma."

"Please stop hoarding meds. You do not need boxes and boxes of 'just in case' Ventolin, painkillers, or antibiotics...stop it, please," tweeted another.

Along with Ventolin inhalers, pharmacists have reported a number of items that are being purchased in large quantities by their customers, including hand sanitizer, face masks and, of course, toilet paper. Despite this, the Therapeutic Goods Administration has also urged the pharmacies to avoid such over-ordering in order to prevent a lack of supply in other areas of the country.

"The large spike in orders from some pharmacies has resulted in other pharmacies not getting the stock they need,'' the TGA said in a statement. ''This means that consumers may be unable to get the medicines they need."

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Both Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson were in Australia when the actor made the announcement that they'd both tested positive for coronavirus on March 12. The couple were there in pre-production for Baz Lurhmann's upcoming Elvis Presley biopic. As is becoming increasingly common news, production on the film has been temporarily suspended.

While both Hanks and Wilson have been in good spirits since their diagnosis, they had definitely been making the rounds across the country prior to making the announcement. As a result, the Australian Today Show had to be temporarily quarantined, as Wilson had just appeared as a performer days earlier.