China’s battle with a COVID outbreak completely destroyed the country’s health infrastructure, especially in Hebei province.
Hospitals in Baoding and Langfang were forced to turn away ambulances and patients seeking treatment, while health administrators had to treat patients in intensive care units with excess beds or on the floor, officials said.
“I don’t have much hope,” said Yao Ruyang, whose elderly mother-in-law needs urgent care medical assistance how she contracted the coronavirus. However, Yao was unable to find a hospital with the space to treat her, according to the Associated Press.
“They say there are no beds here,” she told AP reporters outside a fever clinic in China’s Hebei province.
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Yao and her husband said they got the same answer at every hospital: There was no room for another patient. After the family went to Zhuozhou Hospital, an hour’s drive from Yao’s hometown, the response was the same.
“I’m furious,” Yao added tearfully. “We’ve been outside for a long time and I’m terrified because it’s hard for her to breathe.”
And the problem isn’t just for Yao.
The intensive care unit at Baoding No. 2 Hospital in Zhuozhou was so overcrowded that a medical worker instructed the people removing the patient from the arriving ambulance to seek care elsewhere.
“There is no oxygen or electricity in this corridor!” – shouted the worker, as reported by the Associated Press. “If you can’t even give him oxygen, how can you save him?”
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“If you don’t want any delays, speed up and get out!” – added the worker.
Crematories of the region expressed similar complaints.
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At Zhuozhou Crematorium, furnaces are burning 24 hours a day as workers struggle to keep up with a sharp increase in deaths, an Associated Press official said.
A funeral shop worker estimated they were cremating 20 to 30 bodies a day, down from three to four previously. Chinese government On December 7, the restrictions related to COVID were dramatically eased.
“There are so many people dying,” said Zhao Yongsheng, a funeral worker. “They work day and night, but they cannot burn them all.”
Funeral homes in the Chinese capital were also overcrowded, with some people having to drive for hours to find someone who could cremate the deceased.
“They said we would have to wait 10 days,” said a resident who gave his surname only as Liang.
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The Chinese government has reported just seven deaths from COVID-19 since lifting restrictions on Dec. 7, but has not found a solution to provide quick and proper care, China’s forecast in its fight against covid looks gloomy.
China’s officially reported death toll from COVID since the global outbreak began in the final months of 2019 is just 5,241. For context, the official death toll in the United States is over 1.1 million.
Modeling shows that large numbers of people will continue to become infected and die across Beijing and the rest of China.
Experts predict that one million to two million people will die in China next year World Health Organization said Beijing’s way of counting COVID-19 deaths allowed the country to “underestimate the true death toll”.
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As recently as Tuesday, a Chinese health official said China only counts deaths from pneumonia or respiratory failure in its official COVID death toll, not counting deaths that would be related to the COVID BS counted by countries that use a broader definition.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.