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Shanghai isolates Covid-positive children from parents in a virus battle | World News

Esther Zhao thought she was doing the right thing when she fevered her two-and-a-half-year-old daughter to a hospital in Shanghai on March 26.

Three days later, Zhao told health officials after testing that both her and the girl were positive for Covid, saying her daughter was too young to be taken to a quarantine center for children. I was begging not to separate.

Doctors threatened to leave her in the hospital while she was sent to the center if she did not agree to transfer her to the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center in Jinshan District.

Since then, she has only one short message that her daughter is fine and was sent through a group chat with a doctor, but she was repeatedly asked for information from Zhao and her husband.

“I didn’t have any pictures … I’m very worried. I don’t know what my daughter is doing,” she said on Saturday in tears while stuck at the hospital she went to last week. According to doctors, Shanghai rules do not allow children to be sent to designated locations, adults to be sent to a quarantine center and accompanied by children. “

Zhao is even more panicked after images of Covid-19-positive children crying away from their parents became viral in China.

Photos and videos posted on Weibo and Douyin’s social media platforms in China show that crying babies are trapping three people in a crib. Few adults can be seen in the video, they are more than children.

Reuters could not see the images immediately, but sources familiar with the facility confirmed that they were taken at the Kanayama facility.

The Kanayama Center did not answer the call from Reuters on Saturday. The Shanghai government did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

Zhao-like stories and videos of distant children anger residents as Shanghai, China’s most populous city and major financial hub, fights the outbreak of the largest Covid-19 in history. It raises questions about the cost of Beijing’s “dynamic clearance” policy to combat spread. Of illness.

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By Saturday, the original post had been removed from Weibo, but thousands of people continued to comment on the image and repost it. “This is horrible,” said one.

A three-month-old child may be away from a breastfeeding mother, according to a post from the WeChat group of quarantine hospitals shared with Reuters. One room mentioned in the post has eight children without adults.

In another case, more than 20 children aged 5 to 6 years from a kindergarten in Shanghai were sent to the quarantine center without parents.

The latest outbreak in Shanghai began about a month ago, and authorities detained 26 million people in a two-step exercise that began on Monday.

Although the number of cases in Shanghai is small by global standards, Chinese authorities have vowed to stick to “dynamic clearance” and aim to test, track and centrally quarantine all positive cases.

Foreign consulates in the United States, France and Italy have warned citizens of Shanghai that family separation could occur when Chinese authorities carry out the Covid curb, according to Reuters.

Shanghai reported 6,051 asymptomatic Covid-19 cases and 260 symptomatic cases on April 1st, compared to 4,144 asymptomatic cases and 358 symptomatic cases the day before. was.

A total of 2,129 new Covid-19 cases were reported on April 1 across mainland China, up from 1,827 the previous day.

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