Child respiratory sickness in China swamps paediatric clinics

Taipei, Nov 29 (IANS) A surge in respiratory illnesses in China, particularly among children, has reportedly swamped paediatric units in city hospitals, while authorities have urged calm, attributing it to a post-lockdown wave of illness, a media report said.

Many hospital wards are full, according to state and other media reports in China, The Guardian reported.

The Global Times had reported on Tuesday that the Beijing Children’s Hospital was receiving up to 9,378 patients a day, and had been at full capacity during the past two months. It also said outpatient clinics, paediatric clinics, and respiratory departments at several Beijing hospitals were booked for at least seven days.

Photos and videos online and on state media showed crowded waiting rooms with beds lining hallways in a Hebei hospital. One report quoted parents in Jinan saying that half the students in their child’s class were sick, The Guardian reported.

Footage of students doing homework while in hospital reportedly prompted warnings from local officials that schools should not make children catch up on work while they are ill. In Hangzhou one parent told media that classes had been suspended because so many children were away.

Available data suggests rates of flu-like illnesses are more than double those of recent years, but authorities have urged calm, attributing the rise in cases to the beginning of the first flu season since pandemic restrictions were lifted, The Guardian reported.

–IANS

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