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Beijing Promises Better Medical Care Amid COVID-19 Wave


Beijing, –  In light of rapidly surging Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection numbers following the abandonment of its strict zero-COVID policy measures, the Chinese government has promised better medical treatment as well as supply of drugs.

During a tour of health facilities in Beijing, Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan called for a “smooth transition” from previous restrictive measures focussing on curbing the spread of the virus to necessary medical treatment of those infected, state news agency Xinhua reported on Wednesday.

In a radical turnaround last week, Beijing announced a far-reaching easing of lockdowns, quarantine rules, mandatory testing, and travel in China, causing case numbers to skyrocket.

Authorities no longer request PCR tests and have stopped issuing reliable data on the spread of the virus in the country.

In the capital, a large number of businesses, shops, and restaurants are temporarily closed because many employees are infected.

Meanwhile, the unexpected change, of course, caught many hospitals largely unprepared, with high case numbers among staff further adding to the burden.

The authorities have called on those infected to rest up at home instead of going to the hospital if possible.

Many pharmacies have run out of medication for colds and fevers.

Sun, therefore, stressed the need for additional fever clinics and more staff during her tour on Tuesday.

Especially the elderly, children, patients with pre-existing conditions, pregnant women, and other particularly vulnerable groups must be better protected, the vice premier said.

Sun also stressed “the need to effectively coordinate the COVID-19 response with economic and social development,” according to Xinhua.

This can be understood as a hint to one of the reasons behind the policy turnaround, as a large number of lockdowns and other measures had severely impacted growth in the world’s second-largest economy. (dpa/NAN)

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