Healthcare Family provides quarantine rooms for COVID patients in need
Some COVID-19 patients in Hangzhou have been urgently looking for a place to self-quarantine in order to reduce contact with family members, since there are vulnerable groups at home, such as seniors over 80 years, patients with severe underlying diseases, pregnant women, as well as infants.
Now, they can apply for a room in the nearest residential community, as the Hangzhou government has already built 75 Healthcare Family outlets with around 16,000 quarantine rooms.
Unlike the previous makeshift hospitals, people can apply for a room on their own. Once their application is approved, they can drive to the Health-care Family and live there for a few days.
However, the Healthcare Family facility is only available to patients with mild symptoms as well as asymptomatic carriers, since no medical services are offered. It provides three meals and charges 100 yuan (US$14.36) a day.
Zhejiang Province has seen a steep rise in COVID-19 infections. Daily infection numbers had crossed 1 million, the provincial government said on December 25. The infections would peak around the New Year's Day with daily infected cases of 2 million for a week.
By December 24, Zhejiang had 6,595 fever clinics that could receive around 600,000 patients a day. Hospitalized severe and critical cases with underlying diseases accounted for 1.78 percent. About 1,600 new intensive care unit beds were purchased.
At present, provincial-level hospitals have 12,389 ICU beds for severe COVID patients, accounting for 9.9 percent of all ICU beds. Meanwhile, the Zhejiang government has purchased 1 million paracetamol tablets and 40,000 bottles of ibuprofen suspension from other provinces, and then distributed to hospitals and clinics for infected pregnant women and children.
"Now, we have dispatched 28 government workers to 28 key local pharmaceutical companies to coordinate with their production," said Xu Xiaoyue, vice chief of the Zhejiang Economy and Information Technology Department.
"So far, Zhejiang's daily production can meet the demand of 500,000 patients. By the end of December, daily output of febrifuge could reach 6 million tablets."
On December 24, about 15 million paracetamol tablets were allocated to hospitals and clinics in 11 cities of the province, which are expected to ease the medicine shortage at the earliest.
Since Zhejiang lacks pharmaceutical companies producing febrifuge for children, the department has been supporting three local companies to restart the production. Moreover, local enterprises can manufacture about 1.37 million N95 face masks a day.
"Grassroots clinics and retail drugstores are facing shortages of some medical suppliers," Xu noted. "However, the situation would be alleviated soon as production has resumed and we are constantly purchasing medicines from other provinces."
In efforts to alleviate the current medicine shortage, the Hangzhou government launched a sharing project on December 22, calling on people to share medicines with those in urgent need.
About 130 offline medicine cabinets have been set up across 13 counties and districts. At the same time, online sharing medicine service is also available on Alipay and Tencent platforms. People just need to scan a QR code to reach the online sharing medicine cabinet.
Whether you need or provide medicine, you can click "My account" to fill in the relevant information, including your location, time, and what you need or provide.
Your information will be uploaded to the platform and can be seen by others. People can contact with each other via the platform and then meet in person.
In a bid to relieve the sustained burden on fever clinics, the provincial government is encouraging neighborhood health centers to shoulder care for people with fever by allocating more resources to grassroots facilities such as the elderly homes.
Some nucleic acid testing booths have been transformed into temporary fever clinics to offer simple medical services and febrifuge tablets, which will hopefully reduce the stress on hospitals and clinics. The first booth in the Wangjiang Community of Hangzhou's Shangcheng District was set up on December 22. It has a doctor and a pharmacist.