The death of a nurse in Shanghai last month has many questioning Chinese health protocols, particularly concerning COVID-19.
Zhou Shengni, a nurse at the Shanghai East Hospital, died March 23 because of delayed treatment for an asthma attack, China’s Global Times reported.
In need of treatment, Zhou was taken to the hospital where she worked — but she was turned away because the emergency room was closed for disinfection, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The disinfection process was specifically for epidemic prevention and control.
Ironically, in order to prevent the emergency of COVID-19, the Chinese hospital closed its emergency room.
This naturally has many people raising questions about the integrity of the Chinese health system and its preventative measures and protocols for COVID-19.
It goes back to the old question: Is the cure worse than the disease?
China has seen a sharp increase in coronavirus cases despite its stringent measures, according to The New York Times.
On March 1, the country had 331 new COVID cases. At the end of the month, on March 31, there were 7,308 new cases. On Wednesday, that number jumped to more than 23,000.
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In response, Chinese officials have been locking down cities and imposing harsh measures.
“2+2+2+2+2, the lockdown days has been infinitely increased by two,” one resident told the U.K.’s Guardian. “Policies change every day, prices rise every day. I have to get up at 5 o’clock every day to grab food. It is still unknown whether it can be delivered. This is how our government treats its citizens?”
In Shanghai, residents have said they are running out of food in lockdown, the BBC reported Thursday.
Residents are confined to their homes and not even allowed to go grocery shopping.
There have even been reports of children being removed from their parents if they test positive. That is naturally stoking public anger, the BBC reported.
Meanwhile, the Shanghai Health Commission acknowledged that people having health problems not related to COVID have been having trouble getting treatment, Global Times reported.
Wu Jinglei, director of the commission, admitted this after apologizing to Zhou’s family during a news conference on March 25, saying health care workers in the city have been under enormous pressure.
“The city’s epidemic prevention working staff has been working hard, with great physical and psychological pressure, over the past two years,” Wu said.
The fact that Chinese health agencies might not be treating other medical issues has residents particularly afraid.
“I am not afraid of the coronavirus, I am afraid that I can’t get treatment for other diseases,” one person said on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, according to the Guardian.
“This is shocking. Covid patients need treatment, but what about other patients? These are all lives!” another Weibo user wrote, the Wall Street Journal reported.
It’s becoming clear that China’s policies for fighting the COVID outbreak have become worse than the pandemic itself for some residents.
Common sense would dictate that Chinese cities and provinces should thus change their approach. But common sense does not seem to be a factor in the equation right now.
“I really don’t know why people who should be treated cannot get treated?” another Weibo user said, the Guardian reported. “How many lives will it take to change our one-size-fits-all policy?”
Apparently, it’s not yet been enough lives to get China to revise its policies. Even though Zhou’s tragic death has received international attention, there have been no signs of significant change.
This raises a much bigger question: Is China simply using COVID to oppress its people?
The suppression of the Chinese people by the communist government has become increasingly clear over the years.
With unchanging, strict and repressive COVID measures now in place, China does not seem to be trying to do what is best for its people and is now harming them.
But history dictates that the oppression of millions can only last so long before either uprising or complete collapse. Just look at the fall of the Soviet Union and the French Revolution.
The Chinese government might want to keep that in mind.