The Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in Macau today called the scenarios that “the medical system in China is collapsing” due to the spread of Covid-19 in the country “mere rumors.
In a note sent to Lusa news agency, Liu Xianfa began by stating that “some countries, disregarding science and facts, have insisted on taking discriminatory entry measures with restriction against China.”
On the other hand, he charged, “some Western `media’ have discredited the adjustment of the [combat] covid-19 policy (…), claiming that China’s response has failed.” And “they have deliberately exaggerated and even misrepresented the policy adjustment in China, but have avoided reporting on the shortcomings and the high price paid in the response to covid-19 in their own countries,” he added.
The commissioner pointed out that China “has shifted the focus to health protection and zero case prevention,” considering that it was “a timely and necessary shift, grounded in science,” but that it “in no way means the abandonment of [fighting the virus] or the total departure from prevention and control measures.”
Liu Xianfa further assured that “many provinces have already passed the peak of infection and people’s lives are gradually returning to normal,” highlighting the authorities’ current efforts to “protect key groups and rural residents.”
The end of restrictions following protests in several cities across China has launched an unprecedented wave of infection in urban areas, which is now expected to spread to the country’s interior, where health resources are considered insufficient.
Last month, the Chinese executive warned of the impact of the disease in the country’s interior, which it described as “vast, populous, and under-resourced.”
In particular, officials pointed to mass migration during the Lunar New Year period, when hundreds of millions of Chinese workers migrated in the cities return to their homeland.
This is the largest internal migration on the planet and coincides this year with the end of the covid-19 `zero cases’ policy, which for nearly three years restricted the internal flow of people in the Asian country.
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The same officials highlighted the lack of preparation of local health officials and the indiscriminate use’ of antibiotics and hormonal drugs in treating fever patients, whichcan cause harmful and even fatal side effects.
Part of the healthcare system in China’s interior still relies on peasants with basic medical and paramedical training, known as “barefoot doctors,” a legacy of the campaigns launched after the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949 to provide basic healthcare services in rural areas.
According to official data released on Sunday, China has recorded nearly 60,000 deaths in hospitals linked to the covid-19 pandemic since the lifting of prevention measures in early December.
The rapid spread of the virus has cast doubt on the reliability of official figures.
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus even said last week that China was not giving the complete figures, making it impossible to know the true extent of the disease even globally.
About 900 million people have already been infected in China by the virus that causes covid-19, according to a Peking University study released on Friday by the Chinese portal Economic Observer Network.