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‘Black hole’ in the fight against coronavirus

Avatar of Nick John By Nick John Dec23,2023 #Black #coronavirus
'Black hole' in the fight against coronavirus 6
'Black hole' in the fight against coronavirus 6

Medical staff at hospitals in Wuhan, where the Covid-19 epidemic originated, and many localities around Hubei province, China, are calling on people to donate protective equipment to cope with the spread of nCoV.

In response to this call, many Chinese people have established groups on social networks to help patients find hospital beds, mobilize volunteers to take them to the hospital and `search` for masks and protective gear online.

However, these supplies remain in the Wuhan Red Cross Society’s warehouse, while many individuals attempting to distribute relief supplies risk violating China’s strict charity laws.

`We are just a small group with extremely limited capabilities,` said Panda Yin, a Beijing-based designer who founded a volunteer group of about 200 people on WeChat.

According to NY Times commentator Li Yuan, the `black hole` Yin mentioned is the Chinese Red Cross.

The Chinese Red Cross is notorious for corruption and ineffectiveness.

Medical staff at a hospital in Wuhan city, Hubei province, China on February 16.

According to many Chinese people, the country’s Red Cross is slow in distributing masks and other supplies.

On February 11, the Wuhan government’s epidemic control center received nearly 19,000 specialized N95 masks to fight viruses, but Hiep Hoa Hospital, one of the city’s largest public hospitals, only received

Meanwhile, Wuhan doctors and nurses said they had to wear disposable raincoats instead of protective gear, and even wear normal surgical masks while conducting dangerous tests.

Chinese officials said on February 17 that more than 3,000 medical workers in the country were infected or suspected of being infected with nCoV, although not all were infected from the workplace, and at least 6 people have died.

Three Red Cross officials in Hubei province were disciplined this month.

The Chinese Red Cross appears to stall the distribution of medical supplies, and the government can at times hinder private efforts to produce, purchase and distribute them.

In Tien Dao, a city in Hubei province more than 110 km from Wuhan, one of the world’s largest protective gear production centers, the local government on February 3 closed most facilities, leaving only

A local official explained that among the city’s 113 large-scale companies, only two establishments have certificates to sell medical gowns in China, because the majority of products are made from nonwoven fabrics in Xiantao.

However, a factory owner surnamed Wang said this reason is not valid, because the protective gear at his facility produced for US and UK customers must meet equivalent standards, if not the same.

According to Mr. Wang, the real reason is that local officials do not want to be responsible if factory workers are infected with nCoV, or there are product quality problems.

Local officials said the Xiantao government on February 9 allowed 73 more companies to resume operations after receiving approval from the Hubei provincial government, but Mr. Wang and many other factory owners said most facilities still remained.

Earlier this month, Tien Dao officials prevented volunteers from Jingzhou, a city also in Hubei province about 160 km away, from coming here to pick up medical supplies.

However, Tien Dao authorities tried to confiscate these supplies at a checkpoint, and asked the group of volunteers to leave the city, Zhang recounted.

Zhang said he almost burst into tears when he saw the doctors at a local clinic had no protective gear other than normal medical masks.

Volunteers like Zhang raise money to buy supplies through social media.

Despite the risk of `trampling` on health authorities and facing accusations of violating crowdfunding rules, some business owners in the chat group still tried to find a way to negotiate with the authorities.

`Human life should be placed above everything else,` said the man in his 50s.

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