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China’s Zero Covid policy’s repercussions

Apr 30, 2022 3:35:32 AM - colombogazette.com

China’s zero covid policy has resulted in the oppression of the masses and hit their manufacturing sector hard, as lockdowns tighten.

With some 15,000 new covid cases reported on a daily basis, the Chinese Government has imposed lockdowns on its two major cities of Shanghai and Beijing.

Both Shanghai and Beijing are two major production cities of China contributing greatly to their economy.

As a result of the lockdowns nearly all 25 million residents of shanghai have been confined to their homes.

On Thursday, authorities in Changchun and Jilin City, which have a combined population of more than 13.5 million residents, said they would soon begin to gradually ease lockdowns — though it remains unclear what that process will look like, or under what conditions people will be permitted to leave their homes.

“Authorities also locked down several other cities, including the major economic center of Shenzhen, in March — though some of these measures have since been lifted.

Shanghai, which has recorded more than half a million cases since March 1, introduced a staggered lockdown in late March. This had expanded into a full citywide lockdown by the end of the month.

Some neighborhoods can start to ease lockdown measures if they have reported no cases in the past two weeks, Shanghai authorities said on Wednesday — but it’s a tenuous freedom, with the threat of reimposed lockdown if even one local case is detected.

In Beijing, a mass testing campaign has covered nearly 20 million residents — about 90% of the city’s population. Another round of citywide testing is underway from April 27 to 30.

Targeted lockdowns in Beijing’s Chaoyang district this week barred residents in at least 46 buildings from leaving their apartments or compounds, while more than 5,300 people were placed under lockdown in Fangshan district.

The capital closed schools in many of its most populous districts on Thursday. Several major hospitals also announced they were closing, and a growing number of entertainment venues including cinemas have also been ordered to close.

Full or district-wide lockdowns are in effect in more than two dozen cities including Hangzhou, home to 12.2 million people; Suzhou, home to 12.7 million people; and Harbin, home to 9.5 million people. They span 14 provinces, from far-flung northeastern Heilongjiang province to southern Guangxi and the mountainous western Qinghai province.:” – according to MSN.

China’s covid quarantine procedures have also seen many of the elderly suffering needlessly.

Since early march more than 500,000 people have tested positive for covid and of them more than 10,000 are those above the age of 80.

According to recent report via MSN: “China’s Covid rules demand that anyone who is infected, or a close contact, must be sent to a state-run quarantine centre.

It is not uncommon for hundreds of people to be put together in such centres. Images shared on social media have showed unsanitary conditions, with clogged up toilets and overflowing rubbish bins.

One woman in Shanghai told the BBC that her 90-year-old grandmother who is in one such centre, is struggling with unsanitary conditions, unable to sleep properly, and has largely been left to fend for herself.

She now fears her 91-year-old grandfather, who has also tested positive, will also be dragged to a centre – which she says will effectively be a death sentence.

‘She wouldn’t [be able to] survive at all’

Her grandmother was the first to fall sick, said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous.

The lady tested positive on 17 April – despite having never left the house since the outbreak began. The past two weeks have been a real struggle.

A previous illness has left the 90-year-old with one numb leg, making walking difficult. The facility’s toilet block is more than 100m from her bed, so she has been trying to avoid drinking too much water to spare herself a trip to the bathroom.

Rest is also fleeting in the strained, communal conditions. Fluorescent lights are on 24 hours a day and so she’s been unable to sleep properly, her granddaughter says.

“Luckily there’s a warm-hearted [woman] in the quarantine centre. She accompanies my grandma to the toilet and assists her with eating.”

“If my grandma was there alone, she wouldn’t [be able to] survive at all.”

She added that her grandmother hasn’t received any medical drugs or “proper treatment” – only supplies of traditional Chinese medicine which medical experts say have no documented effect in treating or relieving Covid symptoms.

However, desperate to recover and leave the centre, her grandmother has taken whatever she has been given. This, her granddaughter claims, has led to various medical conditions, including diarrhoea.

She’s desperate to get her grandmother out, or at least to a hospital where she can be properly looked after. But community officials insist they will not let her out until she tests negative.

“When I called her, she repeated ‘I want to go home. I want to go home soon,” she said. “She’s also worried about my grandpa who’s at home.”

Her biggest fear now is that her 91-year-old grandfather, who has now also tested positive for Covid, will be forced to enter the centre. On Wednesday, community officials warned this would happen soon

Her grandfather is bedridden as a result of a stroke, and suffers from diabetes and hypertension. He can’t go to the toilet without help, and relies on a live-in carer at home.

“He just can’t go to quarantine centres or hotels,” she said. “The hygiene situation there is worrying. Old people can’t adapt to such environments. How can he live there?”

His granddaughter says his Covid symptoms have been minimal – with only a dry cough so far. Rest at home is all he needs, she said.

“We argued with a community official – that if you send him to quarantine centre, you are actually forcing him to [die],” she said.

But officials say they have to follow government orders. Her family says they will take action if he is forcibly taken.” – By Kamalesh Singh