SUNDAY, February 25, 2024

Thousands of medical workers nationwide rush to aid Shanghai in COVID-19 response

Thousands of medical workers nationwide rush to aid Shanghai in COVID-19 response

Medical workers across China have arrived in Shanghai since Friday to help contain the recent resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the metropolis.

On Sunday (April 3), thousands of medics from regions including Tianjin and the provinces of Hubei, Jiangxi and Shandong arrived in the megacity with a population of 25 million by 10 high-speed trains.

"The country has already sent medical teams, which are mainly sent to work at temporary hospitals, from fraternal provinces to aid Shanghai. The first batch of medical workers and sample collectors from Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui provinces have already arrived in Shanghai," Wu Qianyu, an official with the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission, told a press conference on Sunday.

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) on Sunday dispatched more than 2,000 medical personnel from across the army, navy and joint logistics support forces to Shanghai, an armed forces newspaper reported.

More than 10,000 healthcare workers from provinces such as Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Beijing have arrived in Shanghai, according to state media reports, which showed them arriving, suitcase-laden and masked up, by high-speed rail and aircraft.

Over 650 medics from Anhui are working with a local medical team at a temporary hospital in Chongming District that offers over 2,700 beds. The hospital was scheduled to receive the first group of 1,300 mild cases and asymptomatic carriers on Sunday night.

According to the press conference, Shanghai had conducted citywide antigen testing on Sunday and would carry out the nucleic acid testing on Monday, aiming at completely eliminating potential risks, cutting off the chain of transmission, curbing the spread of the virus, and achieving dynamic zero-COVID as soon as possible.

Also, on Sunday, Shanghai reported 425 confirmed locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and 8,581 asymptomatic carriers, the local health commission said on Monday.

Some residents woke up before dawn for white-suited healthcare workers to swab their throats as part of nucleic acid testing at their housing compounds, many queuing up in their pyjamas and standing the required two metres apart as cases continued to rise.

It is China's largest public health response since it tackled the initial COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus was first discovered in late 2019. The State Council said the PLA dispatched more than 4,000 medical personnel to the province of Hubei, where Wuhan is, at that time.