June 24, 2022

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In Shanghai, Parents With Covid Are Separated From Children

2 min read

Photos and video that showed young children isolated from their families and crying at a Shanghai hospital led to an outburst of anger online on Saturday, as China’s largest city struggled to contain an outbreak of the highly contagious Omicron version of the coronavirus.

In the images, a series of hospital cribs, each holding several young children, appeared to be parked in the hallway of the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center in the city’s Jinshan district. A video showed several of the children crying.

The images and video could not be independently verified, but in a statement, the health center said they were real and did not deny that parents with Covid were being separated from their children.

The fury and concern of parents over what might become of their children if they fall sick is the latest in a series of crises faced by Shanghai officials, who are in the middle of a staggered lockdown to facilitate mass testing in the city. Things have not gone smoothly. Lockdowns have differed by neighborhood, panic shopping has emptied grocery store shelves and people with life-threatening conditions have posted calls for help online when they could not get to the hospital.

The entire process has also been opaque. Residents complain they have had little warning about neighborhood lockdowns, which have been repeatedly extended in some districts. Domestic news reports of an outbreak at an elderly care center disappeared from the internet on Saturday.

In Shanghai, anyone who tests positive for the coronavirus, whether or not their symptoms are severe, must isolate in a hospital or designated facility. The practice has worried parents, who fear that their children will be separated from them if they are forced to isolate.

One woman who said her 2-year-old daughter was locked inside the Jinshan clinical center called the situation “totally inhumane” in a telephone interview. The woman, Lucy Zhu, a 39-year-old mother and Shanghai native, visited Shanghai Tongren…

John Liu and Paul Mozur

2022-04-02 10:32:18

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