SHANGHAI – Lu, 99, a long-time resident of Shanghai’s Donghai Elderly Care Hospital, told his loved ones that he was receiving round-the-clock care at the city’s largest such center.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) preceded the outbreak in China’s largest city last month, the country’s worst outbreak since the virus appeared in Wuhan in late 2019, infecting more than 1,800-bed facility patients, doctors and care workers.
Orderly posted cries for help on social media, saying they were overwhelmed. Relatives told Reuters there had been several deaths.
Lu, whose relatives told him to identify only by his surname, had coronary heart disease and high blood pressure. He caught Kovid and although he had no symptoms, he was transferred to an isolation facility, his family was told March 25.
He died there seven days later, with the cause of death listed as his underlying medical condition, his granddaughter said.
Among the questions Lur had about his last days was why elderly patients had to be quarantined separately, away from care workers most familiar with their condition under Chinese quarantine rules.
His frustration is reflected by many with China’s intolerant cowardice policy. Everyone who tests positive must be quarantined at special isolation sites, whether they show symptoms or not.
Shanghai has become a test case for the country’s tough policies. Home quarantine is not an option and unless public outrage persuades a change, Shanghai would separate coward-positive children from their parents.
From March 1 to April 9, China’s financial center reported about 180,000 infections locally, 96% of which were asymptomatic. It has reported no deaths for this period.
A Donghai staffer who answered the phone on Sunday declined to answer questions, directing Reuters to another department, which did not respond to repeated calls.
Asked for comment, the Shanghai government sent a local media report with a first-person account of life to one of the quarantine centers. The anonymous author said he wanted to allay fears that such sites were dangerous, saying he had received enough food and medicine but advised people to bring earplugs and eye masks.
Authorities have not commented further.
The United States has expressed concern about China’s COVID system, advising its citizens on Friday to reconsider travel to China “due to the arbitrary application of local laws and COVID-19 restrictions.” Beijing has dismissed US concerns as “baseless allegations”.
‘Didn’t dare to believe’
When Luke was placed in quarantine, the family asked, “Who will take care of her? Will there be a care worker, a doctor?”, Her granddaughter said. “My grandmother is not someone who can live independently.
“If attendants have covids and no symptoms, why can’t they stay together?” He said. “The chaos and tragedy that is happening in Shanghai this time around is due to a really cruel policy.”
A relative of Donghai patient Shen Peying, who gave him the nickname Qi, said he believed the quarantine policy had contributed to the death of a 72-year-old man lying in bed on April 3.
He did not catch the quail, he said, citing test records seen on China’s health app. After a few weeks of little contact, staff said Shane had died of a chest infection.
Qiu refuses to allow her to be burned, citing unanswered questions such as how she was cared for after quarantining her regular attendant.
“If they were all in quarantine, who was there to take care of the patients?” Q said.
Shanghai is doubling the quarantine policy, converting schools, recently completed apartment blocks and spacious exhibition halls into centers, the largest of which can hold 50,000 people. Authorities said last week that they had set up more than 60 such facilities.
The move, including sending patients to quarantine sites in neighboring provinces, has been welcomed by the public in a mixture of fears over their speed and situation, prompting some Shanghai residents to call for home quarantine.
While Chinese state media show hospitals with only two or three patients per room, patients like those sent to Shanghai’s huge exhibition center say they live with thousands of strangers without walls or showers and with ceiling lights on.
Chinese social media videos show the rapidly transforming quarantine sites, including a ramshackle empty factory with several camping beds, a site made of shipping containers, and a school with blankets and hot water posters.
A source verified the first video. Reuters could not independently verify the others.
Managing such sites has been a concern.
A viral video last week showed patients fighting for supplies at a site called Nanhui Temporary Hospital. Reuters could not be reached for comment Sunday.
Among those posted on social media was Lee Tong, a Shanghai resident who sought help after sending his wife there. He said things got better when more staff came to organize the patients, but he was shocked by what the videos showed and what his wife told him.
“I do not believe that Shanghai could be 2022
Like this, ”he said. – Brenda Goh / Reuters