Major cities expanding protection
China Daily

Volunteers pass cabbages donated by a resident for his neighbors quarantined at home in Chongqing on Tuesday. (Photo: China Daily)

Major cities including Beijing, Guangzhou and Chongqing are confronting mass COVID-19 infections by strengthening protective measures and opening more makeshift hospitals to isolate patients.

Beijing is still facing the most complicated and severe epidemic control situation since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, with the number of infections at the community level continuing to rise with slight fluctuations, Xu Hejian, spokesman of the municipality, said at a news conference on Wednesday.

"The epidemic control work in the capital is still at a critical stage," said Xu, adding that Beijing reported more than 1,000 infections each day on Monday and Tuesday.

Between midnight and 3 pm on Wednesday, Beijing reported 913 locally transmitted COVID-19 infections, with 640 of them asymptomatic carriers. Among the total infections, 148 were detected at the community level.

In response, a makeshift hospital located at the China International Exhibition Center in Shunyi district has been put into use to receive patients with mild symptoms.

Residents in Chaoyang, the hardest-hit district, are encouraged not to leave their residential communities unless necessary. Previously, they were encouraged not to leave the district.

Confronted with a similar situation, the municipality of Chongqing has built more makeshift hospitals.

It has seen infections surpass 6,000 for three consecutive days, according to figures released by the Chongqing Health Commission.

On Tuesday, it reported 215 new confirmed local cases and 6,728 new asymptomatic carriers, the commission said on Wednesday.

As of Monday, Chongqing had integrated seven municipal centralized hospitals, 27 designated hospitals in districts and counties, five municipal makeshift hospitals and 26 makeshift hospitals in districts and counties, providing over 41,000 beds, Li Pan, deputy director of the commission, said at a news conference on Tuesday night.

In addition to makeshift hospitals, authorities in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, have established a special task force consisting of senior medical experts from major hospitals to help treat patients and guide treatment in designated and makeshift hospitals.

These experts are from severe disease, infection, respiratory and related medical departments, plus departments of traditional Chinese medicine.

"We always put medical treatment first while continuing to make great efforts to implement and further optimize the prevention and control measures for COVID-19," said Zhang Yi, deputy director and spokeswoman of the Guangzhou health commission.