Shanghai News reported on June 7 that some nursing homes are refusing to admit older people citing pandemic reasons, although Shanghai authorities announced to unblock the city on June 1.

The news outlet cited a Shanghai citizen surnamed Wu 吴, saying that his aunt used to live in the nursing home in Caoyang Community, Putuo District. On March 11, his aunt fell. Her family took her to the nearby Putuo District Central Hospital for treatment. 

At the end of March, the hospital informed the aunt’s family that she could be discharged. At that time, the Puxi area was about to be closed. So the elderly care home suggested that the aunt continue to stay in the hospital. The family agreed.

The Puxi area was then closed for two months from the beginning of April. Mr. Wu’s aunt has moderate Alzheimer’s disease and needs personal care assistance. During that two months, the nursing fee cost up to 200 yuan per day (30 dollars), making the aunt stressed.

After unblocking announcement came at the end of May, Mr. Wu’s family thought they could take their aunt back to the nursing home. They were hopeful because the aunt was not infected with the virus. However, the nursing home refused to admit her.

The person in charge of the Cao Yang Community Nursing Home, told Shanghai News reporters that the nursing home “does not refuse the elderly to come back, but they cannot come back directly.” When asked where the regulation came from, the staff said it’s from the higher authorities.

Shanghai authorities announced that they would lift the lockdown on June 1, but many locals said it was only semi-unblocked.

A video on June 7 shows residents of Changle Road and South Shaanxi Road in Shanghai publicly complaining through loudspeakers about being badly treated by unknown people. Since the early morning of June 4, their neighborhood has been surrounded by an iron fence. 

Ms. Wang, a Shanghai resident, told Radio Free Asia on June 6, “There was another positive case in Hongkou, and it was said that everyone in the community was taken away and sent to the square cabin hospital. I was in a neighborhood with close contact, and the bus took the people in the building to the makeshift hospital.”

She said that queuing for nucleic acid has become the biggest headache for Shanghai citizens: “If the normalization of nucleic acid stays, it will be a sword hanging over people’s heads.”

Another resident named Chang told the newspaper that the epidemic had not disappeared in Shanghai. It might take time to be fully unsealed. She said, “We can only say that part of it has been unsealed, and part of it hasn’t, not fully back to normal.”

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