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Woman aborted in China’s lock down, hospital staff evacuated

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Kovid in China: Major cities were closed after the rise of Kovid infection in China.

Beijing:

Chinese authorities on Thursday said they have punished authorities after footage of an eight-month-pregnant woman having an abortion in the closed city of Xi’an went viral after a hospital refused her admission without a Covid test.

The historic city of 13 million is in strict home confinement for two weeks as Beijing sticks to its “zero-Covid” strategy to stamp out all virus cases.

The traumatic incident was detailed in a social media post by the woman’s niece on January 1, which included photos and videos of the woman lying in a pool of blood on a plastic stool outside the hospital.

The post was later removed, but first garnered hundreds of millions of views and sparked widespread anger online about the hardships some residents of Xi’an are facing in the locked-down megacity.

The city government said in a statement on Thursday that the incident at Xi’an Gaoxin Hospital “raised widespread concern and created a bad social impact” and that the local health bureau was investigating.

It said the general manager of the hospital has been suspended and “relevant responsible persons” of the outpatient department have been removed from their posts.

The city’s health commission had instructed the hospital to “apologise to the public, actively reflect and address hidden dangers in the work process”.

The head of Xi’an’s emergency response team and the director of the health commission were given “a warning”, the statement said, adding that they “do not meet the requirements for the treatment of special populations”.

The statement, posted on the city government’s official WeChat account, garnered more than 290 million views within hours of its publication – reflecting the huge interest the matter has generated within China.

According to the post that went viral on January 1, the staff refused to admit the heavily pregnant woman for two hours as her COVID test did not come back negative within the last 48 hours.

Her niece wrote that her test was negative, but it was over within a few hours.

AFP could not verify the post, and calls to the hospital remained unanswered.

On Wednesday, officials told reporters that Xi’an was opening a “green channel” to provide quick access to medical services to certain groups – such as pregnant women and patients with serious illnesses, without referencing the matter.

The cases of coronavirus in China are very low by international standards. But in recent weeks, the infection has not been seen at a high level since March 2020.

189 cases were reported on Thursday, including 63 in Xi’an.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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