After China relaxed COVID restrictions, the country is now experiencing a shortage of medical workers due to a rise in COVID cases. Staff members and residents reported that Chinese medical professionals were asked to continue working even after catching COVID. 

A doctor at one of the capital city’s large public hospitals told Reuters that several hospitals in Beijing have up to 80% of their staff infected. However, these people must still work due to staff shortages. 

The doctor, who refused to give his identity, said that all operations and surgeries had been postponed at his hospital unless the patient was “dying tomorrow.”

A senior WHO official said on December 14 that China’s outbreak started “long before” restrictions were eased. However, major cities in Beijing seem to have seen a sharp increase in COVID cases due to the abrupt policy change.

WHO emergencies chief Michael Ryan stated, “The explosion of cases in China had started long before any easing of the “zero-COVID” policy.

He added, “There’s a narrative that, in some way, China lifted the restrictions and all of a sudden, the disease is out of control.”
The sudden shift in the country’s policy and messaging regarding the dangers of the virus put fear in some people. Residents in other significant cities told The Guardian News it felt like “positive cases are everywhere.”

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