Elderly Covid patients fill hospital beds in China’s Chongqing | India News

CHONGQING: Attaching a breathing tube under a pile of blankets, an elderly man infected with Covid-19 lay groaning on a stretcher at the emergency department of a hospital in central China on Thursday.
In Chongqing and across the country, the virus is on the rise. Authorities say it is impossible to track the number of infections after years of sudden mass testing cancellations, lockdowns and travel restrictions.
A medical staff at the Hospital affiliated to Chongqing Medical University confirmed the old man as a Covid The patient said he received more than 10 people a day, 80 to 90% of them infected with the coronavirus.
“Most of them are elderly,” he said.
“A lot of hospital staff are also active, but we have no choice but to keep working.”
The old man waited half an hour for treatment, while in a nearby treatment room, AFP saw six other people on hospital beds, surrounded by doctors and relatives.
They are also mostly elderly, and when asked if they were Covid patients, one doctor said: “Basically.”
Five people were wearing gas masks and had obvious shortness of breath.
Millions of elderly people across China are still not fully vaccinated, raising fears that the virus will kill the country’s most vulnerable citizens in large numbers.
But under new government guidance, many of those deaths will not be blamed on Covid.
Previously, people who died of illness while infected with the virus were counted as Covid deaths, but now only those who directly die from respiratory failure caused by the virus are counted.
“The elderly have other underlying diseases, only a very small number die directly from respiratory failure due to Covid-19 infection,” an official said this week.
Back at Chongqing Hospital, staff were busy, taking elderly patients to different floors of the hospital while families and other visitors worried about commuting.
A passing resident confirmed the hospital was very busy with Covid patients, but declined to elaborate further.
AFP is not allowed access to the critical respiratory disease area.
‘Covid is not a big deal’
Away from the Covid wards, the streets of Chongqing seem to be returning to normal, with pedestrians and traffic starting to congest some roads.
People said that most of their acquaintances have been infected with Covid, although some people are still afraid to go out.
“In the past few days, it seems they have started to return to work in an orderly manner. The streets are starting to get crowded again,” said a taxi driver surnamed Xiang.
“Since reopening, business has not been better. Before there were a lot of tourists, now people don’t come because they’re scared.”
In a massage parlor above the glittering neon lights of Jiefangbei’s central business district on Wednesday, a worker also lamented the poor state of business.
“Chongqing has suffered from drought, heat and disease this year – the only disaster we haven’t encountered is flooding!” masseur said his last name is Trinh.
Zheng was infected earlier this month and he had to scour three pharmacies before finding a fever reducer.
A Chongqing taxi driver named Positive says a lot of people have been infected in the city — including him, his entire family and most of his friends.
“We have no choice but to self-treat at home,” he told AFP.
“A lot of hospitals don’t accept patients for any kind of illness, let alone Covid.”
But Yang says he thinks it’s worth it.
“We should have reopened a long time ago,” he said.
“Covid isn’t a big deal. For most people, they just have to understand it and move on.”


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