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China prepares for Covid outbreak among medical staff and migrant workers

Chinese health officials warn of Covid-19 outbreaks among frontline medical staff and migrant workers returning home during the Lunar New Year holidays as ill-prepared rural areas could be overwhelmed by the virus. I am expressing concern about what happened.

“One of our biggest challenges is how hospitals deal with the surge in infections among doctors and nurses,” health officials in Guangzhou, the southern capital of Guangdong province, told the Financial Times. .

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added that infection among health workers was a “key factor” in the decision by authorities in Shijiazhuang, the capital of northern Hebei province, last month. short-lived experiment With looser ‘zero Covid’ controls.

But in recent days, cities across China have accelerated the lifting of stringent pandemic restrictions. nationwide protest Opposes President Xi Jinping’s controversial new corona zero policy.

Beijing on Tuesday said people entering most public buildings would no longer be required to show negative coronavirus test results after a similar move by the Shanghai government on Monday. We are urging people not to wait in line for testing unless it is “really necessary”.

Guangzhou-based accountant Kelly Xiao recently tried to take her four-year-old daughter, who had collapsed with cold symptoms and fever, to a local hospital, but was turned down.

“The nurse told us that there are already dozens of positive cases. [Covid] There’s a case out there,’ she said. “I was advised by one of her nurses: [a home] A rapid antigen test was negative, so it would be safer to keep her at home. “

Officials in Guangzhou added that the city will discourage millions of migrant workers from returning to mainly inland rural areas for next month’s Lunar New Year. Holidays starting January 21st ChinaIt is the largest year of the chun yun.

“This year’s chun yun We will not return to pre-pandemic levels,” the official said. “We are concerned about tier 3 and 4 cities with underdeveloped hospitals and ill-informed locals. [about Covid]Their healthcare system can be overwhelmed. “

China’s first Covid outbreak, which raged for weeks after the virus emerged in Wuhan in late 2019, was complicated by widespread infections among medical staff, many of whom died. .

There have also been reports on social media of an outbreak in the city of Baoding, about 150km southwest of Beijing, with authorities reporting several new cases. But there are a lot of people who are just taking medicine at home,” said one resident who requested anonymity. “You don’t need a test to go to the mall or supermarket.”

The FT was unable to independently verify the reports of the outbreak in Baoji.

Relaxed testing requirements have raised questions about the reliability of China’s National Health Commission’s daily tally of Covid cases.

Baoding is located in Hebei Province, which surrounds Beijing, and has a population of 75 million. The state reported just 184 new infections on Tuesday.

Reporting by Sun Yu from New York, Qianer Liu from Hong Kong, Xinning Liu from Beijing and Tom Mitchell from Singapore

https://www.ft.com/content/b6196077-1ab0-4ebb-bd38-589c5f167586 China prepares for Covid outbreak among medical staff and migrant workers

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