Chinese hospital officials have been fired after a pregnant woman lost her baby after she was denied entry at a Xi’an hospital due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
On the night of 1 January a woman in labour was denied entry to the Xi’an Gaoxin hospital because her negative test result was four hours too old. She began bleeding heavily while waiting outside, and was eventually admitted but the baby died.
The woman’s story and an accompanying video went viral on social media, and was reported by local Chinese media. A related hashtag on Weibo was viewed 600m times.
在星期三, the Shaanxi Province and Xi’an Municipal Health Commission said it had launched an investigation and determined the baby’s death was an “accident caused by negligence”. Two hospital officials were fired and a manager suspended.
The head of the Xi’an health commission also received a formal warning from the Chinese Communist party for mishandling emergency care in the city.
Xi’an, a city of 13 million in Shaanxi province, is two weeks into a strict lockdown that has kept residents inside their homes and shut down entertainment venues, shops and public transport. Authorities say the lockdown has allowed them to get on top of the outbreak of Covid cases, which they said were now trending downwards. 然而, there have also been concerning reports of food shortages and delayed or blocked access to medical care. Strict vaccine and testing requirements for anyone seeking medical care appeared to cause confusion and prevent some people from accessing emergency treatment.
In a statement reported by state media, the hospital in the woman’s case said it had done “everything that should be done”.
“Now the Health Commission and the Women’s Federation are investigating. They paid much attention to it, and they were more than fair.”
The hospital has been ordered to apologise to the public, improve its processes, and ensure all patients can access emergency care. Epidemic prevention and control were not grounds for preventing a patient’s treatment, 当局说, and new “green” channels would be opened for patients with acute and critical illnesses to access treatment.
On Wednesday officials also said cases were trending down in Xi’an, with most new cases detected in quarantine or closed areas. 多于 42,000 people have been put into quarantine centres, according to state media. Xi’an has recorded about 1,800 cases since 9 十二月.
China’s continued commitment to zero Covid has apparent general public support in a country that has recorded far fewer cases than many other nations despite the virusfirst being detected there. 然而, there are growing concerns about the impact of continued restrictions, which are getting stricter as local officials strive to prevent and respond to outbreaks or face potential punishment.