‘Tragic Battle, Entire Greater Shanghai Will Fall’, Says Chinese Hospital Amid Covid Surge: Report

As Covid cases surge in China, a Shanghai hospital has asked its staff to prepare for a “tragic battle” with Covid-19 as it expects half of the city to get infected by the end of the year, Reuters reported.

The Shanghai Deji Hospital, posting on its official WeChat account late on Wednesday, estimated there were about 5.43 million positives in the city and that 12.5 million in China’s main commercial hub will get infected by the end of the year, according to Reuters.

“This year’s Christmas Eve, New Year’s Day, and the Lunar New Year are destined to be unsafe,” the hospital said.

“In this tragic battle, the entire Greater Shanghai will fall, and we will infect all the staff of the hospital! We will infect the whole family! Our patients will all be infected! We have no choice, and we cannot escape.”

After nationwide protests across the country against its ‘Zero-Covid policy’, the Chinese authorities this month took an abrupt shift in policies and lifted nearly three years of lockdowns, quarantines and mass testing, which has taken a great financial and psychological toll on its 1.4 billion people.

China reported no new Covid deaths for a second consecutive day, even as crematorium workers said that demand has jumped in the past week, pushing fees higher.

So far, authorities have confirmed 389,306 cases with symptoms.

Reuters reported that some experts have said that official figures have become an unreliable guide as less testing is being done across China following the easing of restrictions.

Experts have claimed that China could face more than a million Covid deaths next year, given the relatively low full vaccination rates among its vulnerable elderly population.

CCTV footage from a hospital in Beijing showed rows of elderly patients in the intensive care unit breathing through oxygen masks. It was unknown how many people have Covid.

According to Reuters, the deputy director of the hospital’s emergency department, Han Xue, said that they were receiving 400 patients a day, four times more than usual.

“These patients are all elderly people who have underlying diseases, fever and respiratory infection, and they are in a very serious condition,” Reuters reported citing Han.

China’s vaccination rate is above 90%, but the rate for adults who have received booster shots drops to 57.9%, and to 42.3% for people aged 80 and above, government data shows.

(With inputs from Reuters)