Doctors and nurses recalled from vacation in Beijing hospital:BBG

  • China is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 infections that threatens to strain its healthcare system.
  • Beijing rolled back its pandemic containment measures a week ago.
  • China reported 8,838 new COVID-19 infections on Sunday – including asymptomatic cases.

Less than a week after rolling back its pandemic containment measures, China is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 infections that threatens to strain the country’s healthcare system.

Medical workers at a major hospital in downtown Beijing have been ordered to return to work after their holidays, while those at at least one other hospital have been told to continue working even though they have been infected with mild cases of COVID-19, Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing unnamed health care personnel.

China reported 8,838 new COVID-19 infections – including asymptomatic cases – on Sunday, according to the country’s National Health Commission – up from 10,815 on Sunday. The decline in recorded cases came after China ended mandatory mass testing a week ago, but anecdotal evidence suggests much larger numbers.

“On the ground, media and anecdotal evidence point to a shortage of fever medication as residents rush to stock up on essential medicines,” analysts from Eurasia Group, a risk consultancy, wrote on Friday. policies. “Beijing residents are queuing for hours to access fever clinics following the new easing measures. Such strains are likely to spread beyond hospitals to affect community clinics and health workers as the government shifts the burden to basic medical institutions as ‘gatekeepers’ and first responders to rising infections.”

State media is urging people not to call the emergency medical hotline in Beijing unless they are seriously ill, as it could delay calls from those who really need help, according to Bloomberg.

The situation could worsen as the country heads into the Chinese New Year travel season, which is expected to start in January.

“An anticipated increase in movement in the coming weeks, coupled with a shortfall in vaccination of the elderly, at least in the short term, risks causing a spike in infections across China and potentially serious strains on the public health system. and already understaffed community clinics,” Eurasia Group analysts wrote.

To cope with an anticipated increase, the Chinese cabinet called for the “full mobilization” of hospitals at a meeting on Thursday, including bolstering staff and increasing drug supplies, according to an official transcript.

Despite the crisis, China is unlikely to reverse its COVID policy reversal.

“The easing of Covid-19 controls will lead to larger outbreaks, but Beijing is unlikely to return to the extended general shutdowns that dragged the economy down earlier this year,” the Eurasia analysts wrote.


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