With the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Beijing, on December 11, there were 22,000 outpatient visits to fever clinics in the city, a 16-fold increase from a week ago. Some Beijing residents mocked themselves by saying that “my whole family has turned into roast sheep”, while others said “my office has become a sheep shed”. The Chinese word ‘sheep’ has the same pronunciation as the word ‘positive,’ so this is a funny play on words.
On December 12, at a press conference on the pandemic in Beijing, Li Ang, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Medical and Health Commission said, after announcing 10 new pandemic measures, a large number of infected people have chosen home treatment. The number of people diagnosed with COVID-19 and the number of nucleic acid tests in the city is on a downward trend, while the number of visits to the clinic for fever and flu-like symptoms has increased significantly. The number of calls to the emergency hotline also increased sharply with 31,000 calls in 24 hours 6 times higher than normal.
Chen Zhi, the chief doctor of the Beijing Emergency Center, also confirmed that the current number of daily calls is far beyond the capacity of the Beijing emergency hotline, and asked mild and asymptomatic patients not to call.
As noted by Reuters, at the entrance of a fever clinic in Chaoyang district, the commercial center of Beijing, more than 80 citizens quietly lined up in the cold wind waiting to enter the clinic to receive treatment.
Hu Xijin, former editor-in-chief of Global Times, also filmed the fever clinic at Xuanwu Hospital in Beijing on December 10. The video shows a large number of patients lining up outside the hospital, many wearing masks.
According to Vision Times, there are also some Beijing netizens who joked about the situation. One said, “in Beijing and Guangzhou now, maybe the average temperature is 38.5℃”, and another said, “The atmosphere makes this place stand out. If you’re not positive, it’s impolite.”
VOA reported that since the Wuhan pandemic first broke out in Wuhan, the CCP has vigorously implemented extreme measures known as the “zero-COVID” policy, regularly locking down entire neighborhoods, communities, administrative areas, and even entire cities. This has not only seriously affected people’s livelihoods, but is also causing heavy damage to the Chinese economy. This year’s economic growth for China could drop to a record low.
Starting in late November, a rare “White Paper Movement” flared in several Chinese cities following a fire at an apartment building in Urumqi, Xinjiang. After that, CCP officials suddenly changed direction, greatly loosening pandemic measures.
As of December 7, the CCP has not only stopped large-scale nucleic acid testing of citizens, but people also do not need to present a negative nucleic acid testing certificate when entering public places or traveling by plane and high-speed rail. Even the “health code” showing the whereabouts of citizens has been canceled. Mild and asymptomatic cases are encouraged to quarantine at home, instead of being sent to field hospitals or quarantine areas as before.
However, Reuters quoted experts as saying that due to the sudden change in the CCP’s pandemic policy, the pandemic and the number of infected people could skyrocket. China’s health system will be overwhelmed and bring business to a halt due to the sudden increase in infections.
Li Ang, a spokesman for the Beijing Municipal Medical and Health Commission, said in a press conference held on December 11 that the number of fever clinics in hospitals in Beijing had increased from 94 to 303, and all the upper secondary hospitals in the city have opened fever clinics or consultation rooms, of which 235 are open 24 hours a day. In addition, 349 officially operating community health service centers of the city have established fever clinics.
According to China Net, Li Ang also said, “Judging from the speed and the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the trend of the pandemic’s rapid spread in Beijing now persists.”