Care Facilities In China Scramble To Shield Elderly From Covid Upsurge
According to the sources, Among people over 80 years, only 42% have received booster doses.
BEIJING: The abrupt conclusion of China's Covid Zero programme is making it difficult for the managers of the Xiangfu Nursing Home, a luxurious home for the elderly in Shanghai's Changning neighbourhood. Shutting the doors was their quick fix for the time being.
In order to buy time while the virus spreads quickly throughout the nation, Xiangfu prohibited admission to family members and other guests in late November. After finishing their duties, employees are unable to leave and must instead stay on-site to sleep.
As China's elderly, who are under-vaccinated, find themselves suddenly surrounded by infection after three years of low threat, the same hunkering down is occurring throughout the country. Local governments are requiring care facilities to use the same closed-loop system that companies did during prior outbreaks in areas like Beijing, Shanghai, and Nanjing. No one arrives and no one departs.
Time is of the essence. Evidence from around the world demonstrates that senior living facilities frequently see the largest waves of deaths, which is why nations gave priority to immunising residents of care homes initially.
According to sources, it hasn't been the case in China, where, according to data from 2020, 38,000 residents house 8.2 million senior citizens. Among people over 80, only 42% have received booster doses. That is significantly below the levels observed in other nations that have since reopened after suspending strict anti-virus measures.
Pudong Shinan Nursing Home in Shanghai released a statement this week outlining its new policies, saying, "It's just the beginning of a really terrible time." "We are terrified when the scientists predict that 80–90% of the population will eventually become sick."
Officials from the National Health Commission last week offered basic guidance to nursing homes that might be experiencing Covid outbreaks. Improve ventilation, wash your hands frequently, wear masks, and stay away from crowds to reduce the chance of infection. In addition, they encouraged but did not mandate vaccinations for the elderly.
It has proven difficult to persuade the elderly. Feng Wang, a sociology professor at the University of California, Irvine, noted that many senior Chinese are apprehensive about getting immunised. He stated that forcing them to get immunised runs the danger of sparking opposition in a culture that typically values respect for the elderly.