China, which until recently was a huge island in the endless sea of the spread of covid, has entered into a fierce fight against misfortune. Apparently, despite the emergency security measures, the Olympics did not pass without a trace. Foreigners did manage to bring in a sufficient dose of omicron, which is highly contagious.
Shanghai, a giant metropolis in Southeast China with a population of over 25 million people, has become the hotbed of the spread of covid, the global financial, industrial and technological center. Despite all the efforts of the authorities within the framework of the “zero tolerance” policy for covid, it was not possible to prevent the development of the epidemic. The extreme density of the population and its activity contributed to the rapid spread of the disease.
Shanghai has now temporarily introduced a “closed-type management regime.” According to the Xinhua news agency, the metropolitan authorities have divided the entire urban area into zones of three categories “as part of stepping up efforts to combat the COVID-19 epidemic.” 7,624 districts were classified as “closed management” zones, 2,460 districts were classified as “restrictive control” zones, and 7,565 districts were classified as prevention zones.
“Closed management” zones include neighborhoods, villages, or organizations where there have been cases of COVID-19 infection in the past seven days. These locations will implement a “seven-day closed management plus seven-day home health monitoring” regimen. In other words, a 14-day quarantine.
Restrictive control zones are those places where no cases of infection have been reported in the last seven days. In these zones, “seven-day home health monitoring” will be carried out. That is, citizens are invited to stay at home for a week and regularly take PCR tests.
Those areas where no cases of infection were registered during the last 14 days were classified as prevention zones. Their residents are allowed to move within the area or city with strict restrictions. At the same time, visiting the closed management and restrictive control zones is strictly prohibited.
Shanghai reported “914 new cases of locally infected COVID-19 and 25,173 asymptomatic carriers of coronavirus infected locally” on Sunday, according to data from the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China. That is, the first number is sick citizens, the rest of the carriers of the virus were identified as a result of testing and naturally isolated along with the areas where they live. The city has already conducted three general waves of testing for covid, when the entire population, without exception, takes tests for coronavirus nucleic acids. And the total number of infected people in the city since the beginning of March has exceeded 130 thousand.
To combat the contagion, more than 100 temporary modular hospitals have been built in Shanghai to treat patients with COVID-19, with more than 160,000 beds. Eight more inpatient medical facilities have been redesigned to treat patients with covid. The fact is that, unlike the rest of the world, the Chinese believe that it is more efficient and hygienic to treat covid in temporary hospitals equipped with special equipment and ventilation. This makes it possible not to colonize the infection in stationary medical institutions, exposing patients with other diseases to the risk of contracting nosocomial infection.
The recovery process is underway. As of April 9, over 11,000 Shanghai residents, including COVID-19 patients, asymptomatic carriers, and people who came into contact with them, have been discharged from city hospitals or exempted from the need to be under medical supervision. This was reported to journalists by the city authorities. As noted in the city health committee, these people “can freely return home, where they continue to monitor their health.” That is, they will be quarantined for at least another week.
The residents of Shanghai are being helped by other provinces. 5,500 people were transferred to Jiangsu Province, neighboring Shanghai, for treatment or isolation in hospitals. Jiangsu has prepared conditions to accommodate a total of 30,000 patients. According to the Jiangsu authorities, “Mental health professionals are stationed at every quarantine point, and free mental health hotlines are open 24 hours a day.” Zhejiang, another province adjacent to Shanghai, will provide facilities to receive 30,000 patients transferred from Shanghai.
Taicang Port in Suzhou, located about 50 km from Shanghai, has been implementing a special plan to expand water freight between Suzhou and Shanghai since March. This helps to compensate for the restrictions of road traffic and provide the metropolis with everything you need. During this period, a total of 59,132 standard containers were transported along the waterway between the two ports, which is 70 percent more than during normal periods.
However, the covid also affected other regions of China, including the capital, Beijing. On Saturday, a neighborhood in Beijing was classified as a high-risk area for the spread of COVID-19. This is Erzefang, which is located in Beijing’s Chaoyang District. In the last week of March and the first week of April, a total of eight confirmed cases of localized COVID-19 infection were detected here. Oh God! However, other parts of the capital are currently categorized as “low-risk areas for COVID-19”.
The city of Guangzhou (Guangdong Province, South China) announced the suspension of face-to-face classes in local primary and secondary schools from April 11. As many as 22 local cases of coronavirus infection were registered there on April 10. Therefore, since April 11, students of primary and secondary schools of the city have been transferred to online learning. The exception will be students in the third grade of a senior secondary school, where conditions for living are provided and a closed-type management regime has been introduced. That is, those who study in the boarding school mode will continue their education as usual. Kindergartens in Guangzhou have suspended the admission of new children. In addition, face-to-face classes in out-of-school educational institutions and after-school groups have been temporarily canceled. Higher education institutions are also expected to be transferred to closed management mode soon. That is, they will announce a lockdown and transfer to a remote location.
Starting April 11, those leaving Guangzhou must present a negative COVID-19 nucleic acid test result, which is valid for 48 hours. A mass testing campaign was launched in 11 districts of the city. By April 10, the total number of tested citizens amounted to more than 19 million people. And the testing never stops. The authorities consider this one of the main methods to contain the spread of the virus. A large makeshift hospital for COVID-19 patients is currently under construction at the Pazhou Exhibition Center in Guangzhou City.
Four makeshift hospitals are being built in the city of Nanjing, the capital of East China’s Jiangsu province, to receive and treat coronavirus patients. More precisely, they will be converted from sports complexes and exhibition centers. They will receive and treat patients with mild COVID-19 and asymptomatic carriers of coronavirus.
Despite the rather widespread spread of the infection, the Chinese authorities continue to adhere to a policy of zero tolerance for COVID-19. True, now it is called “dynamic zero tolerance.” The country believes that the efforts made guarantee success. According to the PRC Health Committee, “This policy, fully adapted to national conditions, is based on a scientific approach and has proven effective over the past two years, making it possible to contain outbreaks in major Chinese cities such as Nanjing, Tianjin and Xi’an in just a few weeks.” .
And those officials who fail to put this policy into practice face an unenviable fate: a party reprimand or dismissal. According to the Xinhua news agency, 11 officials in Jilin City, northeast China’s Jilin Province, have been punished for failing to properly carry out their duties to prevent and combat COVID-19. These issues are dealt with by the party discipline commissions and oversight committees. You won’t envy.
But the main means of combating coronavirus, along with the rest, the authorities consider vaccination. By April 11, 2022, more than 3.3 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered in mainland China, the National Health Commission said on Tuesday.
Author: Mikhail Morozovcolumnist for the newspaper “Trud”