City takes care of the elderly, needy as lockdown bites
Staff workers in Shanghai's civil affairs sector are creating a warm protective wall for the city's needy in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic resurgence.
A phone rang in Tianshan Road Subdistrict of Changning District recently, seeking help for two children who were left alone at home.
Their anxious parents made the call after they were unexpectedly put under lockdown outside their residential complex. The boys are aged 8 and 13.
"We are worried about their meals," said the parents.
The subdistrict's counselor and director for children rushed to the children's home afterwards.
Since 2020, all subdistricts and towns in the city have been ordered to designate at least one children's counselor responsible for the care and protection of troubled and left-behind children.
Every neighborhood committee is required to have a children's director for the same purpose.
The boys opened the door slowly, looking anxious.
Officials explained their parents' situation and tried to ease their anxiety. They brought lunch for the children, and inquired after their daily life and studies.
They contacted the community-based canteen to ensure the boys are provided with meals until their parents return home.
Officials are visiting them every day to check on their situation while maintaining contact with their parents, briefing them on their children's well being.
For minors without guardianship due to COVID-19, a coordination mechanism involving subdistrict authorities and schools has been established to ensure their normal life and studies, Shanghai's civil affairs authorities said.
"We are visited by a sister every day, and we are not in short supply of anything," one of the boys said.
Shanghai's civil affairs bureau has also ordered strengthened efforts for the caring of elderly residents living alone or at an advanced age.
In Minhang District, meal delivery services from five community-based canteens and 17 catering sites for elderly residents have not been suspended during the current lockdown period.
Hot meals are delivered to 1,776 seniors, including 335 living alone, across the district daily.
To ease their anxiety, 1,166 nursing workers in the district are in touch with 4,236 elderly residents daily via phone and WeChat.
They also help coordinate their demand for medicines and food and promote pandemic prevention knowledge. In case of emergency, they contact neighborhood and town committees to visit these elderly citizens immediately.
Grandpa Wu, 76, lives alone in Tongxin Village of the district's Maqiao Town.
He cannot use the cellphone to buy food, and was obviously worried about his medicine and food supply. But recently, he received daily necessities from town officials.
"These items really satisfy my demand and I feel I am well cared for," said Wu.
As on-the-spot visits to Shanghai's cemeteries are suspended for this year's Qingming Festival, their staffers have joined in the COVID-19 battle as well.
The catering facility of Shanghai Fushouyuan Cemetery has been supplying meals to workers involved in nucleic acid tests.
The Shanghai Fushouyuan Public Welfare Foundation has donated pandemic prevention items to 17 medical treatment institutions in Shanghai, and its staffers are volunteering for nucleic acid testing work in Fengjing Village of suburban Qingpu District and providing medical care at residential communities in Huajing Town in Xuhui District.