Shanghai's health authority has pledged to improve medical resource allocation and protection of the city's healthcare workers following the death of a nurse from Shanghai East Hospital affiliated with Tongji University on Wednesday.
According to a statement by the hospital, the nurse, Zhou Shengni, had suffered an asthma attack at home on March 23. Though her family members had taken her to the hospital where she worked, the emergency department was unable to provide treatment as it was temporarily closed for environmental sampling and disinfection.
Zhou was then sent to the eastern branch of Renji Hospital, which is located about nine kilometers away. She later died due to her condition.
"We have expressed our heartfelt condolences to the nurse's family," said Wu Jinglei, director of municipal health commission, at a news conference on Friday.
"Healthcare workers on the frontlines have been through a continuous, tough campaign against COVID-19 since 2020, especially during the current wave in March. Enhanced care and support will be offered to those dedicated to COVID-19 prevention efforts. In addition, we will strengthen the allocation of medical resources to minimize the impact of epidemiological investigation and environmental disinfection on the continuity of essential health services to the public," Wu added.
Shanghai is experiencing its worst COVID-19 outbreak in two years, with the daily tally of new local infections continuously rising since March 1. More than 7,000 new infections have been reported this month alone. On Thursday, the city reported 1,609 new infections, 1,580 of which are asymptomatic, according to the municipal health commission.