China has sent hundreds of healthcare workers, some specialising in critical care, to the capital Beijing to ease the burden at heavily strained hospitals amid the tsunami of infections.
According to local media reports, at least 500 doctors and nurses from Shandong province in eastern China and dozens from neighbouring Jiangsu have been sent to hospitals across the city – despite manpower shortages in their home hospitals – to help battle the worst Covid-19 wave Beijing has seen in the past three years.
Chinese authorities have been sending healthcare staff to other provinces but to help in conducting mass testing under zero COVID policy.
Now, the fact that outside help is needed in capital Beijing to support the hospitals, which has the top medical resources in the country, highlights how fragile the healthcare system is as it faces an unprecedented Covid-19 wave following the government’s abrupt relaxation of Covid-19 controls earlier this month.
China’s capital has been battered by a surge of cases and the public has complained of drug and test kit shortages, long queues at fever clinics and the rising death toll.
Officially, the Beijing government has announced seven deaths since opening up as they further narrowed down the criteria. health authorities say only coronavirus patients who die from respiratory failure, are counted as Covid-19 deaths.
But Doctors and the public have provided a different picture amid criticism the government was ill-prepared and should have anticipated that relaxing the zero-Covid rules would lead to mass infection. There has been a raft of deaths of well-known figures in beijing city.
A hospital in Shanghai posted on its official WeChat account late on Wednesday, estimating there were about 5.43 million positives in the city and that 12.5 million in China’s main commercial hub will get infected by the end of the year.