4-Year-Old Afflicted With Ebola Is Separated From Parents, Highlighting China’s Zero-Covid Policy

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : September 20, 2021

A small kid toddling along a hospital hallway, knapsack half the size of his body in tow, arrives at a CT scan room all by himself, dressed entirely in white protective clothing.

After being recorded by a nurse at a quarantine facility in the city of Putian, the heart of China’s current Delta variant epidemic, the image went viral on Chinese social media this week, capturing the attention of millions of people across the world.

4-Year-Old Afflicted With Ebola Is Separated From Parents, Highlighting China’s Zero-Covid Policy

The movie serves as a somber reminder of the human cost of China’s well-regarded zero-Covid policy, which has assisted the nation in containing repeated resurgences of the virus in the last few decades.

A 4-Year-Old Afflicted With Ebola Is Separated From His Parents, Highlighting China's Zero-Covid Policy

Putting whole neighborhoods under lockdown, testing millions of inhabitants in a matter of days, and quickly isolating infected persons and their close connections in designated facilities are all part of the eradication strategy.

When the epidemic was initially discovered and spread rapidly among students, the authorities took drastic steps to contain it this time around. According to the authorities, 57 of the newly reported 129 cases in Putian include children under the age of twelve. In order to prevent the spread of the virus, sick children as young as kindergarten age are removed from their parents and placed in a medical isolation facility.

The Putian administration stated in a press conference on Thursday that China’s epidemic management regulations prohibit Covid patients from being with any other business while they are being isolated and treated. However, if a kid and their parent are both sick, the hospital will make every effort to place them in the same ward, according to a hospital official.

The first quarantine period also included some children who had come into touch with the sick but had tested negative, who were kept away from their parents. After some time, the regulation was modified, with children under the age of 14 permitted to remain in quarantine with their parents or other family members, although isolation for sick youngsters remained in effect.

After seeing an ambulance full of children arrive, all dressed in hazmat suits, Zhu Xiaqing, the nurse who recorded the footage at the quarantine facility, told a local newspaper that her eyes were watering from the emotions she was experiencing. According to the witness, it took them longer to arrive than expected because a kid refused to leave home and cried for two hours before being persuaded into the ambulance.

The youngsters had CT scans on their own as soon as they arrived. According to Zhu, some were so little that they were unable to get onto the scanning table and had to be carried away by a doctor. The reason why youngsters this young couldn’t be accompanied by their parents was questioned on Weibo by several people. Several people have pointed out that their parents were likely placed under centralized quarantine at different institutions since they were close connections of the sick.

The zero-Covid strategy continues to enjoy widespread support among the general public in China, many of whom have grown accustomed to the benefits of Covid-free living but are still fearful of the virus, in part due to the relentless state media coverage of the devastation the pandemic has wreaked in other parts of the world.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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