Coronavirus: Covid hits Shanghai with crowded hospitals, empty streets

SHANGHAI: A few months later Shanghai endured a brutal lockdown to stop the spread of CovidThe virus is starting to spread almost unchecked through the megacity’s 25 million population.
Hospitals are struggling to cope with the number of infected patients, pharmacies are empty of customers, businesses are closing because employees are on sick leave, most schools have closed and the Public transport use is plummeting.
At Tongren Hospital, one of Shanghai’s largest public hospitals, doctors in the intensive care unit had to use the corridor to handle the overflow of serious illness on Wednesday. Outside a place known as the fever clinic, several dozen seemingly sick people were waiting in the cold. Some pharmacies near the hospital are no longer allowing people in because they say they have run out of cold and fever medicine.
Medical staff described the situation as becoming increasingly dire as too many patients and staff fell ill. Cases also increased after the city stopped requiring residents to present a negative PCR test result before entering the hospital.
Daniel, a paramedic at a public hospital, said the city was not well prepared for such a dire situation. A doctor at a private hospital in Shanghai, who told Bloomberg News a week ago that things were calm, said the outlook was getting worse. “Shanghai is starting to resemble Beijing in terms of infections,” he said.
The Chinese capital suffered the initial blow when China abruptly pivoted away from its strict policy. Covid Zero the policy allows the virus to go unchecked. The turning point, from locking down a single case to downplaying the threat of Covid, created a wave of infections that quickly spread across the vast country, with government agencies to factories all over the world. difficult due to disease outbreak.
China appears to be trying to cover up the scale of the backlash, censor social media and redefine Covid data. According to Airfinity Ltd, a London-based analytics firm, there are now more than a million infections and 5,000 deaths occurring every day. It estimates two peaks will occur in China: one in January and one in March.
An oncologist at a public hospital in Shanghai said she was told that all doctors would have to work in the emergency room because patients were overloaded with fever and many colleagues had been discharged. While the number of workers absent from her clinic meant she couldn’t afford to transfer, the hospital threatened to punish the doctors by stripping their bonuses if they didn’t agree, she said. he said. Experts are avoiding eating, drinking and going to the toilet at work to limit the chances of contracting Covid.
For city dwellers, the worsening outbreak is a painful reminder of the misery — and futility — of the two-month blockade, which has led to food shortages in one of the country’s largest cities. richest cities in China.
“We are repeating what we went through during the city blockade: lack of delivery capacity, There is no medicine, the hospital is too busy, the children are sent home.” . “Thinking about all this, I’m furious that our time during the lockdown was completely wasted.”
Shanghai’s economy shrank nearly 14% in the second quarter as lockdowns in the financial and commercial hub forced factories to close, curbed consumer spending and disrupted port operations. the world’s largest. The lockdown was lifted in early June.
This time, many residents are choosing to stay home – either because they have Covid or they are trying to avoid it. Metro operators cut service due to reduced passenger numbers and sick staff.
In the most recent week, subway usage in Shanghai fell 51% year-on-year in 2019, according to analysis of transit data by Bloomberg. That compares with a month ago, when subway ridership was 18% lower than in the same period three years earlier.
Businesses are closing. At the Art Park shopping mall, not far from Tongren Hospital, the popular Baker & Spice pub told customers they were no longer serving food because the chefs were all infected with Covid.
Hu, an engineer for an auto company, lived in a hotel near his office for a week to avoid the possibility of infecting his family. So far, Hu has tested negative, but he is losing patience.
“Recently, I kept asking my infected friends if their symptoms were mild,” he said. “I’m thinking of actively infecting a friend with mild symptoms and this terrible life could be over.”


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