First of all, it is illegal to import or export drugs without a license, even something like cold medication. Just the title of the new story suggests that these were arrests for
- illegal exporting of medicine
- failing to declare a controlled substance
- failing to declare in a manifest the goods for export
However, exceptions are made for reasonable amounts of medication for personal use.
Secondly, I believe covid drugs are not available in HK for the private market, but rather through the government only (either directly or through private doctors that sign up). It is prohibited to resell, distribute, etc such medication. I am not sure if this is a criminal offence or civil offence (the medication was given under a license for personal use), but regardless the first point remains valid.
There has been arrests for people selling Paracetamol online. This includes Chinese produced paracetamol which was imported to HK under emergency procedures for covid patients. Selling it to someone else is illegal as it is not a registered drug in HK.
To be clear, it isn’t sufficient that a drug is permitted in HK, the brand, dosage and type must be registered.