28 Jan 2022

As Omicron spreads, what do you need in your Covid care kit?

From Checkpoint, 5:29 pm on 28 January 2022

As Omicron cases increase, health authorities have warned people need to be ready to isolate at home, and manage symptoms if they come down with Covid-19.

At Auckland's Unichem Pakuranga, pharmacist Vicky Chan has been inundated with questions about what to include in a kit to keep at home.

Here are her must-haves in a Covid-19 care kit:

  • painkillers to bring down a fever, such as paracetamol
  • ibprofen or nurofen to alternate with paracetamol
  • sore throat lozenges or gargle
  • rehydration tablets or electrolyte drinks
  • thermometer

Extra items which are not necessary but useful:

  • oximeter which monitors how much oxygen is in your blood
  • anti-nausea tablets

In the past few weeks, shelves in supermarkets and pharmacies have been raided as people prepare for the next phase of the pandemic, but Chan said there was no need to panic buy.

"If we're all panic buying you know someone is going to miss out, so I think my advice would be 'be sensible, check what you have at home, find the missing elements and come and replenish them'.

"If we do it sensibly and rationally there will be plenty of stock."

She said people should prepare for whatever they would need to isolate for a few weeks and ask for help.

"Have that emergency plan sort of communicated between the people that you know are going to give you some assistance in terms of supply or meals or even any sort of even emotional support."

The past two weeks have been some of the pharmacy's busiest with boosters and children being vaccinated.

Chan said now was the crucial time to start thinking about how your household would navigate an Omicron infection.