In Shanghai, children and newborns are being separated from their parents in the name of the zero-Covid policy

People with mild and asymptomatic cases of Covid-19 will be quarantined at the Shanghai Expo Center on April 1, 2022.

Mr. Peng gave birth to a baby boy on April 1stis April. He still hasn’t seen his son. The mother, who is still in the hospital, tested positive for Covid-19 shortly before the birth. Mr. Peng (who only uses his last name to avoid being recognized) and his son tested negative, but the child was still placed in solitary confinement. “I will be able to restore it on April 8, but I don’t even know how to leave my house and reach the hospital when everything is locked up.”, he is angry. The mother and child are currently in two separate wards at the Jinshan District Public Hospital in southeast Shanghai. On April 2, the release of a video recorded in this public hospital showed dozens of children, often five or six, in beds with iron bars: many newborns, some in tears, ragged or with their heads under a blanket…

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers Why China is not ready to give up the zero Covid goal

“This video really scared me! I’ve asked and read that separating a child from its mother at birth can cause trauma to the baby: it usually only happens in children with serious illnesses. I’m very concerned about what this breakup may do to my child.” testifies Mr. Peng. He is far from alone in this: the topic has been called up more than 100 million times on Weibo, the counterpart to Twitter in China.

An online petition circulated on WeChat messaging for a few hours on Tuesday calling for an end to this policy before it was censored. On March 31, the French consulate in Shanghai officially protested on behalf of the European Union, of which France holds the presidency. But the zero-Covid goal comes first: the Chinese authorities do not want positive parents to infect their child or vice versa.

More isolation centers

After more than three weeks of trying to control multiple outbreaks of Covid-19 with targeted measures, Shanghai went into lockdown on March 28is April. The city on Wednesday reported 17,077 cases, while China recorded 20,582 cases, an all-time high since the pandemic began in Wuhan more than two years ago.

Deputy Prime Minister Sun Chunlan’s arrival in Shanghai on Saturday signaled Beijing’s determination to pursue a strict zero-Covid policy. The deputy prime minister, who has been responsible for coordinating the fight against the epidemic for more than two years, specifically urged the city to set up more isolation centers. Shanghai currently has 47,700 beds for isolating and treating Covid patients, with 30,000 to be added. ” right away “, said the deputy secretary-general of Shanghai on Tuesday. Over the past few days, 2,000 medical personnel from the Chinese military and 38,000 medical workers from neighboring provinces have arrived as reinforcements.

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