Shanghai explores more places for makeshift hospitals, isolation

A makeshift hospital in Shanghai’s Chongming Photo: Xinhua

Shanghai saw the highest daily rise in infections on record after testing all of its 25 million residents on Monday, with 268 confirmed cases and 13,086 asymptomatic infections, bringing the cumulative number of COVID-19 infections in Shanghai to 73 000 since March.

Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan, after visiting quarantine centers, makeshift hospitals, nucleic acid testing centers and communities, urged the city to adopt a stricter attitude, more thorough measures and faster actions, speeding up construction of makeshift hospitals, expanding isolation places and strictly following guidelines in order to defeat COVID-19.

Sun said Shanghai is at a crucial point in its fight against the virus, but with help from other provinces and regions, the city will succeed.

The vice premier also called on Shanghai to fill the gaps, guarantee people’s vital necessities and medical needs, and ensure the smooth operation of ports and the supply chain industry.

Shanghai currently has about 47,700 beds for isolating and treating COVID-19 patients, including those in makeshift hospitals, and another 30,000 will be put into operation immediately, general secretary Gu Honghui said on Tuesday. Deputy of the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government. Report.

According to Gu, one of the main tasks at the moment is to transfer and quarantine positive cases. Once new positive cases are discovered, they should be transferred immediately and quarantined as soon as possible.

On Tuesday afternoon, the department for children who tested positive at the Shanghai New International Expo Center, a makeshift temporary hospital, received 100 children, accompanied by their parents. Parents can stay with infected children in makeshift hospitals whether they test positive or not.

A medical team of 59 medical workers from the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center will be responsible for their medical treatment and care, an employee of the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center told the Global Times on Tuesday on condition of anonymity.

The employee told the Global Times that after strict medical evaluation, children with mild and asymptomatic syndromes will be sent to makeshift centres. “Children with tumors, cardiovascular diseases and other underlying illnesses will be treated in designated hospitals instead of makeshift centres.”

Photo: Shanghai Observer

Photo: Shanghai Observer

Several Shanghai residents told the Global Times that once a positive case is detected, he or she will be immediately sent to mass isolation sites, and those who live with patients, as well as communities. in which they reside, will be isolated for a period of time.

What Shanghai lacks now are places of isolation, not medical resources treating people with severe symptoms, Zhang Wenhong, head of the Shanghai panel overseeing COVID-19 treatment, said in an interview. released on Tuesday. He warned that makeshift hospitals alone were not enough, noting that every district, even every community, should use all available venues to isolate patients.

The Global Times has learned that several neighborhoods in Shanghai are actively exploring hotels, exhibition centers and other places to isolate patients.

Wu Qianyu, a Shanghai health authority official, said at Tuesday’s press conference that the mass testing, which was completed in one day, will help track down all risk points, strengthen the chain of transmission. and to play a vital role in eradicating the spread.

“Currently, epidemic prevention and control in Shanghai is at the most difficult and critical stage,” Wu said. “We should adhere to the general policy of dynamic clearance without hesitation, without hesitation.”

Meanwhile, Shanghai remains under closed management as it reviews the test results of all residents for COVID-19, authorities said Monday.

A community worker wearing a protective suit receives an item from a delivery man at the entrance to a sealed compound in Shanghai's Jing'an district on April 5, 2022. Photo: AFP

A community worker wearing a protective suit receives an item from a delivery man at the entrance to a sealed compound in Shanghai’s Jing’an district on April 5, 2022. Photo: AFP

To defeat the virus with support

Medical experts said Shanghai’s outbreak, with more than 73,000 locally transmitted cases since March, is bigger than what Wuhan faced at the height of the pandemic. Wuhan has recorded around 50,000 cases. Although there are more cases, experts said, Shanghai is in a better position than Wuhan due to improved preparations and accumulated experience.

The outbreak caused by Omicron will not crush Shanghai’s medical system, but will pose great challenges to medical workers and local officials in Shanghai, as they are engaged in identifying, assembling and treating patients, said Lu Hongzhou, head of the Shenzhen anti-epidemic expert team. and head of Shenzhen Third People’s Hospital.

Lu thinks the Omicron assault is a lesson for other places to prepare enough isolation sites. If there are enough places of isolation, the chain of transmission may soon be cut, he said.

Still, Chen Xi, an associate professor at Yale University’s School of Public Health, told the Global Times on Tuesday that there have been discussions about allowing asymptomatic patients to self-quarantine at residence. “I think Shanghai could explore this possibility. In fact, the rapidly increasing number of silent carriers would limit the capacity of medical institutions, exceeding the construction speed of makeshift hospitals.”

Considering the surge in household infections, Chen suggested that local medical resources be used to treat those with urgent demand, while more antigen self-test kits should be sent to households for further testing. quick.

A medical worker in Shanghai, who requested anonymity, told the Global Times that his hospital was split into two groups, one group to treat patients in makeshift hospitals and another to go out to administer tests. She said she joined the citywide test at 3 a.m. Monday and only finished until 3 a.m. Tuesday.

So far, more than 38,000 medical workers from 15 provincial-level regions have been deployed to help Shanghai. This is the highest number of medical helpers nationwide since Wuhan at the start of 2020. Nine of the provinces and regions have sent more than 11,000 medical personnel to undertake the task of medical teams in hospitals in fortune, and four provinces sent medical personnel for nucleic acid collection.

Similar to what happened in Wuhan in 2020, PLA medical troops participated in a series of tasks. Chinese military authorities dispatched more than 2,000 medical workers to Shanghai on Sunday.

Lu believes the virus infection in Shanghai will be contained after screening for potential carriers of the virus during the last eight days of mass testing, and after another seven-day observation period.

While some Western media focus on the “enormous cost” of Shanghai’s fight against Omicron, touting its “tactical failure” to control the outbreak’s resurgence, Chinese experts have said that like Hong Kong , Shanghai will also offer the valuable sample data for China. in terms of the effectiveness of vaccines and how they prevent severe cases.

“It’s still too early to say whether Shanghai has failed or not, but its experiments have raised alarm bells for other regions and cities, in terms of better preparing for the next resurgence,” Chen said.

Experts said Shanghai’s current situation again proves that the dynamic zero COVID policy is the most appropriate strategy for China in the current battle against Omicron, because even Shanghai, which has one of the best systems the country’s medical services, has not yet prepared for the shocks of the growing number of infections. Experts added that China has a relatively low vaccination rate among the elderly.

Top-down support and cross-regional assistance to Shanghai cannot be repeated if China decides to reopen under premature conditions and faces multiple resurgences in different regions, Chen said, noting that Shanghai is sounding the alarm for the whole country that China still needs time to prepare to ease COVID-19 restrictions in the future.

Comments are closed.