Wed. Jan 26th, 2022

Health officials in Xi’an, the center of China’s worst Covid-19 containment since the pandemic began, fired workers at a hospital after a pregnant woman was turned away from the facility and subsequently had a miscarriage.

The woman was denied access to Xi’an Gaoxin Hospital for several hours because she did not have updated negative Covid test results and waited outside until she started bleeding, according to a video and a social media post . The incident sparked criticism of the country’s management of the virus.

The city government said the heads of the outpatient and medical departments at the hospital were fired, while the general manager, Fan Yuhui, was suspended. Other local officials were also warned by the Chinese Communist Party’s Xi’an disciplinary unit.

The video sparked outrage on Chinese social media and was the latest in a series of complaints about the severity of the restriction in the city, which is China’s most severe since the original outbreak in Wuhan and caused. food shortages which angered locals. The video also drew criticism from Beijing’s strict zero-Covid policy.

“More than 1,000 people were infected in Xi’an. To this day, I have not seen anyone die from the coronavirus, “said one user on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social media platform. “[But] for man-made reasons, you have to wait for death at the door of the hospital. ”

Xi’an’s main airport suspended international passenger flights from Wednesday until further notice at the behest of the Civil Aviation Administration, China’s official news agency Xinhua reported on Thursday. Domestic passenger flights have already been suspended, it added, citing airport authorities.

Despite the relatively low number of cases in China – the country reported only 142 local infections on Thursday, 63 of them in Xi’an – authorities responded quickly to each outbreak to limit the spread of the virus before the Beijing Winter Olympic Games in February.

Central government officials are also concerned that a nationwide outbreak could lead to an overwhelming number of hospitalizations and deaths given the relative low efficiency of Chinese Covid vaccines, especially as the highly contagious Omicron coronavirus variant begins to spread to the country.

But groups of infections have been occurring with increasing frequency since the Delta variant arrived in the country. On Thursday, Henan province, where a number of cities imposed restrictions and some residents were locked up, reported 73, including asymptomatic cases of the virus, compared to 22 the previous day.

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