China: Beijing emergency room overwhelmed by surge in Covid-19 cases

Chinese people accompany their sick relatives to the emergency room at the hospital in Bahzou, northern China, on December 22, 2022. © Dake Kang / AP

Text by: RFI Follow

2 mins

Faced with the Omicron tsunami released by the relaxation of epidemic prevention measures and the end of the zero Covid strategy, the number of contaminations exploded and hospitals were overwhelmed.


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From our correspondent in Beijing


Stéphane Lagarde

Suitcases on wheels and transparent plastic bags in which we guess a blanket, spare linen, an iron bowl, a large thermos.

These are the personal effects that families are waiting to be able to pass on to

Covid emergency patients

at Chaoyang Hospital in Beijing.

In front of the access lock, two elderly people are waiting on stretchers.

Is there room left?



[Chinese exclamation, editor’s note]


It's so difficult to have beds right now

, says a nurse.

I accompany a patient, you must first see an emergency doctor to enter.


► To read also: China torn between openness and resurgence of the Covid-19 epidemic

Faced with the explosion of infections, the walls had to be pushed.

Services reserved for fever patients have been reinforced in the capital.

This Beijing woman in her sixties came to bring diapers for her hospitalized father.


When I arrived here a few days ago, the service had just opened.

It's a new department.

There are many sick people and four died yesterday.

They give priority to elderly people in serious condition.


Given the magnitude of the wave of Covid-19 in Beijing, emergency services are saturated.

The authorities have reclassified the disease, and the criteria defining deaths linked to viral pneumonia.


My father is 93 years old, he suffers from ordinary pneumonia according to the doctors.

But, he did test positive for Covid, like most of the patients in this service who are all infected with the virus

 , ”adds the Pekingese. 

 Ordinary pneumonia 

”, an epidemic of heart attacks… Sunday, December 25, the National Health

Commission ended the publication

of its daily reports on the epidemic.

► To read also: Covid-19: how China went from “zero Covid” to “full Covid”


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