Health

Segregation of children with covid sparks anger in Shanghai

The 26 million inhabitants of Shanghai have been confined for days without an end to the confinement being foreseen. During this time, complaints have rained about the questionable state of some quarantine centers and the difficulties in buying food or accessing certain medical treatments.

But nothing has provoked as much outrage in the population as the policy of separating covid-positive children from their parents if they are not infected. The barrage of criticism, fueled by images such as babies in isolation sharing a crib, has forced local authorities to rectify. Since yesterday they allow certain parents to accompany minors in the process. “This is what you have to do, manage in a humane way,” several users of Weibo, the Chinese Twitter, congratulated.

Segregation of children with covid sparks anger in Shanghai
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Segregation of children with covid sparks anger in Shanghai


The end of the confinement in the heart of the Chinese economy is in sight

The announcement does not end the restrictions. According to the inspector of the local Health Commission, Wu Qianyu, only uninfected parents and guardians of children “with special needs” who contract the virus will be able to request to accompany them after signing a document in which they accept the risks and undertake to comply with the preventive measures, without giving further details. The controversy had crossed borders, and diplomatic representations from countries such as the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Australia or France had asked “that children not be separated from their parents under any circumstances.”

The end of the confinement of the economic heart of China seems still far away. In the last count, the country detected some 17,000 new positives, the vast majority asymptomatic. They are irrelevant figures in other latitudes, but inadmissible under the zero tolerance policy that Beijing champions. To curb contagion, the umpteenth round of mass detection tests was announced yesterday. On Monday, all the inhabitants were tested thanks to the mobilization of almost 40,000 volunteers from other provinces, including 2,000 members of the armed forces.

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Shanghai lockdown lasts for days

Andy Wong/AP

Meanwhile, social networks are the field in which residents pour their discontent. With supermarkets closed and home delivery services restricted, many complain about how difficult it is to stock up on certain pharmaceuticals and fresh foods. Testimonials abound from neighbors who connect a
and again to try to buy food for home delivery online,
but they do not get it because of the speed with which stocks run out. “I don’t get supplies from the government and I spend the day trying to buy food, I even dream about it at night,” Wei complained. Faced with this problem, other neighbors have organized community groups to try to buy fruits and vegetables wholesale.

Liu Min, deputy director of the local Commerce Commission, said that they are working to solve these problems and attend to “the basic needs” of the population. To do this, they are organizing the shipment of food and other
goods to Shanghai from other provinces and building emergency supply stations in and around the city. Even so, he recognized that the biggest challenge continues to be the final delivery to homes, which is why they work with e-commerce platforms so that their distributors contribute.

Voices are also growing among the population demanding that home quarantine be allowed for asymptomatic patients or those with mild symptoms. However, the authorities have refused to take this measure and continue to bet on the isolation of all cases as the most effective way to stop the outbreak.


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