Children are separated from their parents under China’s Zero Covid crackdown as Communist regime STILL tries to eradicate the virus
- Esther Zhao had her two-year-old daughter taken away against her will
- The pair had tested positive for Covid and her child was taken to lone quarantine
- Shanghai has introduced the measure as it battles its largest-ever Covid surge
- The country’s Zero Covid policy has backfired as China remains locked down while the West enjoys post-Covid freedoms
Chinese authorities are forcing children as young as three months old into quarantine centres away from their parents as part of their endless Zero Covid strategy.
Esther Zhao brought her daughter, two, to hospital with a fever on March 26 and they both tested positive for Covid three days later.
Doctors attempted to take Zhao’s child away to a quarantine centre alone and threatened Zhao when she didn’t comply – saying that the girl would be kept in the Covid-ravaged hospital if she didn’t comply.
After her daughter was taken to Shanghai Public Health Clinical Centre, Zhao has only had one piece of information from doctors about her daughter despite pleas from her and her husband.
After her daughter was taken to Shanghai Public Health Clinical Centre, Zhao has only had one piece of information from doctors about her daughter despite pleas from her and her husband
Zhao told Reuters: ‘There have been no photos at all… I’m so anxious, I have no idea what situation my daughter is in.
‘The doctor said Shanghai rules is that children must be sent to designated points, adults to quarantine centres and you’re not allowed to accompany the children.’
She also said that pictures of crying children circulated on the Weibo social media platform purporting to be in the hospital had made her anxious and worried.
In one video, a groaning toddler crawls out of a room with four child-sized beds pushed against the wall. While a few adults can be seen in the videos, they are outnumbered by the number of children.
By Saturday, the original post had been deleted from Weibo, but thousands of people continued to comment and repost the images. ‘This is horrific,’ said one. ‘How could the government come up with such a plan?,’ said another.
In some cases children as young as three months old are being separated from their breastfeeding mothers, according to posts in a quarantine hospital WeChat group shared with Reuters. In one room described in a post, there are eight children without an adult.
In another case, more than 20 children from a Shanghai kindergarten aged 5 to 6 were sent to a quarantine centre without their parents, a source familiar with the situation said.
Since Shanghai’s latest outbreak began about a month ago, authorities have locked down its 26 million people in a two-stage process that began on Monday.
While the number of cases in Shanghai is small by global standards, Chinese authorities have vowed to stick with ‘dynamic clearance’, aiming to test for, trace and centrally quarantine all positive cases.
The U.S., French and Italian foreign consulates have warned their citizens in Shanghai that family separations could happen as Chinese authorities executed COVID curbs, according to notices seen by Reuters.
As Shanghai, China’s most populous city and main financial hub, battles its largest ever COVID outbreak, stories like Zhao’s and videos of the separated children are angering residents
A Shanghai health official said last week that hospitals that were treating COVID-positive children maintained online communications with their parents, according to the government’s official WeChat account.
As Shanghai, China’s most populous city and main financial hub, battles its largest ever COVID outbreak, stories like Zhao’s and videos of the separated children are angering residents and raising questions about the costs of Beijing’s ‘dynamic clearance’ policy to fight the spread of the disease.
Shanghai on Saturday reported 6,051 locally transmitted asymptomatic COVID-19 cases and 260 symptomatic cases for April 1, versus 4,144 asymptomatic cases and 358 symptomatic ones on the previous day.
Mainland China reported 2,129 new cases, up from 1,827.
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