70% of Shanghai’s population is infected with COVID, a doctor fears

A senior doctor at one of Shanghai’s major hospitals is sounding the alarm about rising COVID-19 cases in China, as he estimates that up to 70% of the city’s population has been infected.

Chen Erzhen, vice president of Ruijin Hospital and a member of Shanghai’s COVID expert advisory panel, estimates that at least 70% of the megacity’s 25 million residents have been infected. after the easing of the country’s “zero-COVID” policies.

“Now the spread of the epidemic in Shanghai is very wide and may have reached 70 percent of the population, which is 20 to 30 times more than (in April and May),” he told Dajiangdong Studio, owned by the business. State People’s Daily.

As a result, he warned, hospitals in China are being stretched to the limit.

Erzhen said his hospital has seen a staggering 1,600 emergency admissions each day, double the number before restrictions were lifted, and eight out of 10 are COVID patients.

“Every day more than 100 ambulances arrive at the hospital,” said the doctor, adding that half were at-risk patients over 65 years of age.

covid infections in shanghai
Most of the megacity’s 25 million inhabitants are believed to have been infected with COVID.
AFP via Getty Images

sobering images filmed Monday at Zhongshang Hospital in Shanghai shows patients placed on beds outside the emergency department entrance as they struggled to cope with rising COVID-19 infections.

Other Chinese hospitals have even been forced to refuse ambulances and critical patients.

Emergency rooms in smaller cities and towns outside of Beijing are full of sick patientscollapsed on benches and lying on the ground for lack of beds.

Funeral homes are also on the brink. Videos shared online show massive queues outside several Chinese funeral homes as desperate families wait to book appointments at the crematorium.

Relatives waiting outside the Yinheyuan funeral home in Guangzhou last Thursday told Radio Free Asia that they had to leave the body of their deceased family member at home to stand in line, because the funeral home could not be reached by phone.

Other images of the Babaoshan Funeral Home in Beijing show rows of cars marked “Jing Funeral” waiting outside a driveway.

The funeral home has been forced to perform cremations 24 hours a day to cope with the increased demand. Radio Free Asia reported.

Porcelain abruptly retired his draconian “zero-COVID” checks on December 7, without formally abandoning politics entirely, following widespread protests.

The demonstrations marked the largest show of public dissent against the ruling Communist Party in more than 30 years.

shanghai hospital
Infections may rise as many people plan to head home to more rural parts of the country to celebrate Lunar New Year later this month.
AFP via Getty Images

Under the ultra-strict rules, a single positive case could trigger widespread and prolonged lockdowns of entire cities.

Officials also erected massive barriers and fences around entire neighborhoods to prevent the spread of the virus.

Residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 could also be forced into a government-supervised quarantine facility.

With the reversal of zero-COVID and the spread of the Omicron variant, infections in China’s largest city Shanghai are expected to peak early this year.

Chinese health officials have suggested that other major cities such as Beijing, Tianjin, Chongqing and Guangzhou have already experienced their peak.

Carry off
Shanghai went into a two-month lockdown in April as COVID infections soared, forcing residents in desperate need of supplies to stay home.
AFP via Getty Images

Chinese officials also warned that a wave could affect more rural areas as millions of people plan to travel back to their hometowns to celebrate the week-long Lunar New Year starting on January 22.

Jiao Yahui, an official with the National Health Commission, said the holiday would be a “huge challenge” as people had not returned home to celebrate since before the pandemic.

“What worries us the most is that in the past three years no one has returned home for the Lunar New Year, but they can finally do so this year,” Jiao said.

China withdrew from its draconian “zero-COVID” policy in December.

“As a result, there may be a surge of retaliatory urban residents into the countryside to visit relatives, so we are even more concerned about the rural epidemic.”

More than a dozen countries have imposed COVID testing requirements for passengers arriving from China, including the US, which will implement the rule from January 5.

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