china denies treatment for non covid illnesses, says human rights watch
China – The Chinese authorities denied treatment to Covid-negative patients amid the surge in Covid-19 cases. Some people have died after being denied medical treatment for their non-Covid related illnesses.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Wednesday that the Chinese government should respect the right to health and other basic rights of its citizens amid the Covid-19 surge in the country.
The authorities in Shanghai have imposed lockdown measures since March to curb the impact of Covid-19. Many people are unable to access health care, food, and other life necessities due to lockdown measures.
Reportedly, the authorities have forcibly separated small children from their parents after positive Covid-19 tests under the “Zero Covid” policy. China’s zero-Covid policy means all positive cases have to be hospitalized. One parent whose toddler was taken away after testing positive wrote on social media, “I’m so upset. This is inhumane.”
According to the New York-based watchdog, the authorities have hindered discussion of public concerns regarding the Covid-19 restrictions by tightening restrictions on social media sites and applications.
Yaqiu Wang, the senior China researcher at Human Rights Watch, said that China’s strict “Zero Covid” policy has resulted in the systematic denial of medical needs of people with serious but non-Covid-19 related illnesses.
Shanghai is witnessing the largest test for China’s zero-Covid policy so far. On April 3, the Chinese government deployed thousands of military personnel to Shanghai to assist in the mandatory testing of Covid-19. National Health Commission official Lei Zhenglong said that the Covid-19 prevention and control situation is severe in Shanghai city.
Many people shared stories on social media of their or their loved ones being denied access to medical care for non-Covid related illnesses. HRW also accused the Chinese authorities of denying treatment to some patients because they did not have proof of a negative Covid test.