The pandemic continued in Beijing and the death toll has increased sharply. Videos circulating on the internet showed a long line of vehicles transporting dead bodies to a crematorium in Beijing, but China’s Health Commission reported there were no new deaths after December 7. In addition, there are rumors that Beijing plans to send unvaccinated elderly people to field hospitals for treatment to address the shortage of medical resources.
According to NTD, on December 16, the Chinese media Caixin reported that two senior journalists of the People’s Daily newspaper died in Beijing after being infected with COVID-19, at the age of 74.
Although they died of COVID-19, the cause of death on the death certificate was pneumonia. (Photo)
The journal Nature Medicine estimates that within six months, China could trigger a new pandemic “tsunami.” As many as 112 million people will be infected, 2.7 million people will be admitted to the ICU, and 1.55 million people will die. Peak ICU demand will reach 1 million beds, more than 15.6 times the current capacity.
According to Sound of Hope, Zhang Fanghua (pen name), a Beijing resident, said that Beijing has released a large number of people from field hospitals and plans to use them for the unvaccinated elderly, just like Xiaotangshan hospital did during the SARS outbreak in Beijing in 2003.
She said that a person working at Xiaotangshan hospital told her, “Patients are provided with a bottle of mineral water every day, and buns or bread, not as good as you imagine. It’s not like that at all … You suffer on your own, you can come back if you are alive. Otherwise, you will get in the car (meaning will be a corpse). If you want to run away, maybe you will be beaten to death. These days, no one cares about you. It’s really terrible! Nationwide, 40% of the elderly are vaccinated, and 60% are not. So 60% of the elderly who are not vaccinated will be taken there.” (Recording)
On December 15, China’s National Medical and Health Commission issued a “Work plan to strengthen the control of the COVID-19 pandemic and health services in rural areas.” The commission proposes speeding up vaccinations in rural areas, especially the elderly, increasing the stock of ventilators and medicine in rural areas, and avoiding contact with the elderly. There are about 500 million people in rural China and there are about 17,000 county-level hospitals that are severely short of beds.
Zhang Wenhong, director of the Department of Infectious Diseases at Fudan University’s Huashan Hospital in Shanghai, recently predicted that it will take three to six months to overcome the pandemic, according to Sohu.
Tang Jingyuan, a political commentator, said: “The Chinese government has invested a large amount of health insurance funds including paying trillions of dollars to implement the ‘zero-COVID’ policy for three years, embarking on nationwide nucleic acid tests, building field hospitals everywhere, and hiring a large number of people to do quarantine work, implementing lockdowns and investigations. The but high quality vaccines and good drugs that are needed to fight the pandemic, including ICUs and ventilators, are in low supply. This is one of the most fundamental reasons leading to overcrowding and a lack of medical resources. This responsibility must certainly belong to the Chinese government.” (Recording 2)