Separated children and traditional care: China is trying them all to keep Covid zero

In China, where Covid cases have risen sharply in recent times, the government has decided to adopt an iron fist aimed at stopping infections in the country: specifically after nearly 40 million people have been put on lockdown in recent weeks, Shanghai is now catching the media attention, which currently represents the epicenter of the new wave in China. In fact, a few days ago, all 26 million inhabitants of the city were not only imposed the closure, but also a whole host of other restrictions such as massive sweeping tests and separation of children, tested positive from their families, while from that point on, on a preventive basis authorities distribute traditional Chinese medicine to residents. Measures that on the one hand make you speechless on the other hand seem to be in line with the rigid modus operandi adopted in China, where right from the start, the so-called “zero-covid strategy” was used to combat the health crisis – whose goal is to nip possible outbreaks in the bud – which, however, until now had made it possible to keep infections very low, but lately it seems to be no longer as effective. As mentioned, there is actually now an increase in cases, but despite this, the authorities still do not question their strategy, which is being persistently pursued.

In Shanghai, where there is the worst Chinese outbreak of Covid since the virus took hold in Wuhan in 2020, infections are growing steadily, and yesterday 19,660 new asymptomatic cases of coronavirus and 322 new symptomatic cases were registered. That is why the authorities ran in cover and after imposing a lockdown in two phases last week (the first concerning the eastern part of Pudong and the second west of Puxi), in recent days, the confinement has been extended to include the entire city indefinitely.

Not only that, for the most diverse measures are being implemented in the big city, and in this sense we can not fail to mention those relating to the rigorous carpet tests. Three days ago, in fact, more than 38,000 health workers from 15 Chinese provincial departments flocked to Shanghai to contribute to the fight against the virus: specifically – as stated by the high official National Health Commission Jiao Yahui – more than 11,000 doctors have taken on tasks in temporary hospitals, more than 23,000 health workers have taken care of the collection of samples for molecular tests and almost 4,000 have been deployed to support the work to be carried out in the Covid-19 test laboratories. In the end, on Monday, thanks to this massive deployment of medical personnel, all citizens of Shanghai were subjected to the molecular test.

The treatment reserved for the positive should undoubtedly be mentioned: in line with the “zero Covid” strategy, positive citizens are in fact obliged to go to real quarantine centers. In this regard, however, criticism came from the population, annoyed by the unhygienic conditions that these centers would be due to their overcrowding, and not surprisingly, it was therefore recently decided in Shanghai to transform the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Necc) on an emergency hospital with an expected capacity of 40,000 beds. However, this is certainly not the only critical issue associated with quarantine centers: the most opposite decision was actually the aforementioned decision to separate positive children from their parents, which triggered widespread anger in the population. As confirmed in recent days by Wu Qianyu, an official of the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission, children aged 7 and under should be taken “to a public health center”, while all the others should be “isolated in quarantine centers”. There were therefore widespread protests among the citizens, after which a senior health official in the city claimed that parents of children without better defined “special needs” could now apply to keep their children company.

In addition to all this then, as previously expected Shanghai distributes millions of boxes of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to residents, such as herbal products and flu capsules, which are claimed to cure Covid-19. In this sense, according to what was witnessed to the press agency Reuters according to the president of the hospital “Shuguang” Fang Min, about 98% of Covid patients in Shanghai are reportedly “under treatment with TCM”, although there do not appear to be any reliable clinical data. In any case, what we ultimately cannot avoid remembering is the fact that all these conflicting measures adopted in China, and especially now in Shanghai, at least seem to be questionable if one compares the Chinese situation with that in the West. countries. … Taking Italy as an example, we note that while in our country yesterday about 69,000 cases and 150 deaths were registered, in China there were about 23,000 cases (between asymptomatic and symptomatic) and no new deaths.

[di Raffaele De Luca]

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