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China’s coronavirus infection is blowing out, and hospitals, medical care, and crematoriums are facing a critical point of collapse

Medical staff at Baoding Second Central Hospital in Hebei, China, care for patients
Medical staff at Baoding Second Central Hospital in Hebei, China, care for patients

Since the CCP authorities suddenly relaxed the extreme epidemic prevention and control measures of “dynamic zeroing” without warning, preparation, and plan on December 7, the number of infected people has increased by the explosion in just a few weeks, and it is estimated to reach hundreds of millions, causing patients in fever wards, emergency departments, and intensive care units in hospitals around the country to be crowded, many patients forced to lie on corridor benches or even on the ground, medical care is seriously overloaded, unable to cope, and many hospitals are forced to refuse to accept patients sent by ambulance, or ask to be transferred to other hospitals. Anxious family members frantically searched for hospital beds.

The Associated Press reported on Dec. 26 that in the past two days, AP reporters visited five hospitals and two crematoriums in the Baoding and Langfang areas of Hebei Province, which are close to Beijing. Hebei was one of the epicenters of the sudden relaxation of strict lockdowns earlier this month, which led to a blowout outbreak of the epidemic. For weeks, the area went unnoticed by the outside world.

Although many people have recovered after the change and have begun to shop and eat on the streets, there are obviously more vehicles on the streets, and the party-controlled official media also vigorously advocate “starting to return to normal life”, there is no trace of normal signs in hospitals and crematoriums in Hebei, and many elderly patients are in danger. All this could be a harbinger of what the rest of China will face in the coming months.

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New crown patients in the emergency room of the Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University
New crown patients in the emergency room of the Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University

At Baoding No. 2 Hospital in Zhuozhou, visited by Associated Press reporters, patients filled the corridors of the emergency department, and seriously ill people relied on breathing masks to help them breathe. The woman cried screaming after doctors told a woman’s family that her loved one had died.

Due to the overcrowding and overcrowding of the emergency department, some ambulances were forced to leave. As several family members carried a patient out of an ambulance to be pushed into the hospital, one nurse shouted that there was no more oxygen. If you can’t give oxygen to a patient, how can you treat him? If you don’t want to delay, leave quickly and visit other hospitals. The family members pushed the patient back into the ambulance, which left with flashing lights.

Chinese authorities have reported only seven coronavirus deaths since December 7 when the “zero” epidemic was loosened, bringing the number of epidemic deaths in the past three years to 5,241. On Tuesday, a Chinese health official said China counted only deaths from pneumonia or respiratory failure. However, this narrow definition excludes a large number of coronavirus-related deaths, which are counted as coronavirus deaths in other parts of the world. A leading World Health Organization official warned that Beijing’s methodology would grossly underestimate the actual coronavirus deaths.

Many experts predict that 1 million to 2 million people in China will die from the new coronavirus infection by the end of next year.

Relatives of the deceased walk through the crematorium in Gaobeidian in Hebei, China, dressed in filial piety and holding sacrifices
Relatives of the deceased walk through the crematorium in Gaobeidian in Hebei, China, dressed in filial piety and holding sacrifices
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At a crematorium in Zhuozhou, workers have worked overtime over the past week to burn bodies in response to a surge in deaths, the report said. One funeral home employee roughly estimated that 20 to 30 bodies a day are currently burned, compared with three or four a day before the “zero” policy was relaxed.

At a crematorium in Gaobeidian, 20 kilometers south of Zhuozhou, the body of an 82-year-old woman was pulled here from Beijing, a two-hour drive away. According to the old man’s grandson, funeral homes and crematoriums in Beijing were so overloaded that they were told they had to wait ten days for cremation.

In addition, Reuters on Monday also quoted a foreign doctor who has been engaged in emergency care in Beijing for more than 30 years as reporting that the intensive care unit, emergency department, fever clinic, and other departments of his private Raffles Hospital in Beijing’s Chaoyang District are crowded with patients who are almost all elderly, and many people are infected with the new coronavirus and have symptoms of pneumonia. The doctor said it was a scene he hadn’t seen in decades and the hospital was severely overloaded.

The hospital’s chief medical officer said the hospital has seen a five- to six-fold increase in patients, with the age of patients rising from about 40 to more than 70 in a week, and most elderly people have not been vaccinated against the new coronavirus.

She also said patients come to their hospital because other local hospitals are overcrowded and don’t have beds, and many patients want to buy Paxlovid, a drug made by Pfizer. The drug is in limited supply in many parts of China, and there are not many drugs in stock at this hospital.

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New crown patients in the Fourth People's Hospital of Langfang, Hebei Province are being treated
New crown patients in the Fourth People’s Hospital of Langfang, Hebei Province are being treated

Elsewhere in China, some health workers told Reuters that their hospitals’ resources had reached a tipping point and that doctors and nurses were unusually high in positive infections.

The report quoted a nurse in Xi’an as saying that 45 of the 51 nurses in her department and all the staff in the emergency department had been infected positive in recent weeks. The nurse and other hospital paramedics said she/she was still required to go to work even though she or they were both positive or had a low-grade fever.

Reuters reported that all the doctors they contacted said they were very worried about elderly patients because, according to expert estimates, tens of thousands of people could die.

The report cites Airfinity, a British health data analysis agency, as estimating that more than 5,000 people in China may die every day from the new coronavirus infection.

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