China’s zero-COVID strategy results to food shortages, delays in medical care
01/10/2022 // Matthew Davis // Views

Huge city-wide lockdowns to contain the spread of the omicron variant of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) have resulted to food shortages and dangerous delays in getting medical care in various parts of China.

The lockdowns are part of China's zero-COVID strategy, but the draconian policy had a terrible effect on the population as residents in the Chinese cities of Xi'an and Yuzhou are now suffering from lack of food.

There were also hardships in admitting patients to various hospitals in the cities because a negative test for the virus is required before entry. More than 14 million residents are being affected by the lockdown. Public transportation and the use of private motor vehicles are not allowed, while shops not selling daily necessities have been closed. (Related: A made-in-China pandemic.)

In one instance, a woman in labor lost her baby after she was prevented from entering a Xi'an hospital. A relative described calling emergency services on the night of January 1 for their aunt after she started feeling pain, but the phone rang out. They rushed her to hospital at around 8 p.m., but the front door security didn't let them in "because the nucleic acid test result had been more than four hours ago," they said.

Fully vaccinated Briton tested positive upon arrival in HK

Meanwhile, a Briton who tested positive for the omicron variant after arriving in Hong Kong from London has been locked up for more than two weeks now in a hospital isolation ward.

Fully vaccinated with a booster jab, 29-year-old Darryl Chan tested positive upon arrival on Dec. 19. He tested negative in London.


Hong Kong's zero-COVID policy ruled that positive arrivals must undergo quarantine in hospital until they test negative two days in a row, 24 hours apart. (Related: Passengers on Delhi to Hong Kong flight TEST POSITIVE for the coronavirus despite testing negative before flying.)

To the detriment of Chan, his tests remained positive which resulted to his continued isolation. Even if Chan tests negative, he still needs to transfer to one of the government's isolation facilities where he must complete 14 days of quarantine.

Daily routine in isolation ward

According to Chan, patients must record their blood pressure, blood oxygen levels, heart rate and body temperature. A little pre-recorded musical jingle over the public address system will wake up Chan and the other patients, who must undergo daily PCR tests carried by the hospital staff around 8:30 a.m. daily, followed by breakfast at around 9 a.m. Lunch will follow and dinner will be held at 6 p.m. before lights out at 10 p.m.

Chan described the hospital food as "airplane food." He said: "Food is nutritious but pretty basic. Being in Hong Kong, the dishes are predominantly Chinese consisting of rice, meat in a thick sauce and some steamed or stir-fried vegetables on the side."

Patients can order through Deliveroo at their own expense. Due to strict security measures and safety precautions, it normally takes 45 minutes for the order to be delivered to the room from the hospital entrance. Friends and relatives are permitted to drop off items, but deliveries are limited to two 30-minute slots per day and only daily necessities are permitted – meaning patients cannot have deliveries of perishable foods, alcohol or cigarettes.

Worried about long-term effect of isolation

Chan related that he suffers from loneliness. While he longs for fresh air, Chan said he spends his time wisely by checking and reading his emails, catching up with friends using social media and watching Netflix. But he admitted that he gets lonely in the early afternoon and is worried about the long-term effect of his isolation on his mental health.

To fight the virus, Hong Kong banned for two weeks flights from Britain, Australia, Canada, France, India, Pakistan, Philippines and the United States. Hong Kong leader Carrrie Lam said dining in restaurant after 6 p.m. is prohibited, while game arcades, beauty salons and bars are also shut down for two weeks.

Lam admitted in a press conference that Hong Kong is on the verge of another surge. The spread of omicron was being blamed on a group of Cathay Pacific crew members, who did not follow quarantine rules by dining in restaurants and bars in the city before testing positive.

Watch the video below about a woman held against her will at Calgary quarantine hotel.

This video is from The Prisoner channel on

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