- As COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Beijing, hospitals are struggling to keep up with the influx of patients.
- Ambulances are still bringing in those in need of medical care, but hospitals have run out of beds, leaving patients on stretchers in hallways and taking oxygen while sitting in wheelchairs.
- Nurses and doctors are working hard to triage the most urgent cases, but the demand for care is overwhelming.
The surge in COVID-19 cases follows China’s easing of pandemic restrictions last month, which included lifting lockdowns, travel bans, and school closures. These measures significantly impacted the economy and prompted street protests not seen since the late 1980s.
Increase In Covid-19 Cases
The increase in COVID-19 cases in China has also prompted action from other countries. The European Union has strongly encouraged its member states to implement pre-departure COVID-19 testing for passengers entering from China.
Some EU countries, including Italy, France, and Spain, have imposed their own restrictions on travelers from China, despite earlier commitments to act in unity. The United States has also implemented a requirement for all passengers from China to show a negative COVID-19 test result obtained in the previous 48 hours before departure. If the European Union (EU) were to implement such policies, China has warned that it will take “countermeasures.”
What WHO Says
The World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed concern over the lack of outbreak data from the Chinese government. However, Mao Ning, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, stated that Beijing has consistently shared information and data with the international community openly and transparently and that China’s COVID-19 situation is “under control.”
The relationship between China and the WHO has been criticized by some in the US Congress and elsewhere, with accusations that the WHO was overly friendly with China as it sought to investigate the pandemic’s origins.
China has been accused of withholding data that could help identify the cause of the virus, and has also claimed that the virus originated in the United States or Europe.