Chinese hospitals 'extremely busy' as COVID spreads out of control

Chinese hospitals ‘extremely busy’ as COVID spreads out of control

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“Almost all patients have COVID,” said an emergency department pharmacy staff member.

He said the hospital does not have any stock of Covid-specific medicine and can instead provide medicines for specific symptoms like cough.

Zhang Yuhua, an official at Beijing Chaoyang Hospital, said the patients who have come in recently are mainly elderly and suffer from serious underlying diseases. He added that according to state media, the number of patients receiving emergency care has increased to 450-550 per day, from about 100 earlier.

Photos published by the state-run China Daily showed queues of mostly elderly patients, some breathing through oxygen tubes, receiving treatment from medical staff in white hazmat suits inside the hospital’s intensive care unit.

Official figures, however, show only one COVID death in the seven days till Monday. International health experts predict at least 1 million COVID deaths in China next year.

travel rules

In a major step towards free travel, China will stop requiring incoming travelers to go into quarantine from January 8, officials said this week, prompting many Chinese people, cut off from the world for so long, to To check travel platforms.

But while online searches for flights soared from record lows on Tuesday, residents and travel agencies suggested it would still be months before anything returned to normal, amid concerns about COVID and more careful spending due to the impact of the pandemic.

In addition, some governments were considering additional travel requirements for Chinese visitors.

US officials cited a “lack of transparent data including viral genomic sequence data” as reasons for doing so.

India and Japan will require a negative COVID test for travelers from mainland China, with those testing positive in Japan undergoing a week in quarantine. Tokyo also plans to limit increased flights to China.

Asked about the additional travel requirements imposed by Japan and India, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday, “COVID measures should be scientific, moderate and should not affect the normal flow of individuals.”

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