China: Shanghai fever clinics under pressure after surge in COVID-19 cases

Fever clinics in Shanghai are reportedly at breaking point after a surge in COVID-19 cases, as seen in footage captured at the Tenth People’s Hospital on Wednesday.

A large number of patients were seen entering the hospital, filling corridors and waiting rooms as they awaited treatment. Some patients had to wait for as long as seven hours to be seen, local reports said.

The increasing demand for treatment across Shanghai has been exacerbated by staff shortages as nurses and doctors have also fallen ill with the virus.

Local health authorities are urging patients to use internet hospital resources for prescriptions and consultations to alleviate the strain on fever clinics.

The surge in cases comes after Beijing eased many of its ‘zero-COVID’ policies earlier in December, following widespread protests and rising economic and social costs.

China reported three new COVID-related deaths on Tuesday, however, the number appears to be inconsistent with reports coming from fever clinics across the country.

Chinese authorities downgraded the severity level of COVID-19 to Category B on Monday, a step down from Category A, the highest level. This major shift in epidemic response will be in effect from January 8.

Beijing has also decided to change its definition for classifying deaths as COVID-related, only fatalities involving COVID-caused pneumonia or respiratory failure will be counted.

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