Scenes reminiscent of the height of the Covid pandemic returned to China as swathes of mask-wearers packed into a Beijing hospital.
In shocking footage, the frenetic scenes were there for all to see as hundreds queued for treatment.
It comes as local media reported health facilities were being “overwhelmed with sick children” in Beijing and Shanghai.
Officials say a new virus is not to blame, instead attributing the surge in illnesses to flu and other winter bugs.
Shocking footage shows the frenetic scenes inside a Beijing hospital
The country have been steadfast in their commitment to brutal lockdowns in response to Covid, with this year being their first winter without closing down.
Residents are still being encouraged to work from home if they are feeling unwell, while social distancing and face coverings continue to be encouraged.
China’s strict Covid rules lasted significantly longer than they did in Britain
Speaking on the illness sweeping the country, Ministry spokesperson Mi Find commented: “Efforts should be made to increase the opening of relevant clinic and treatment areas, extend service hours and increase the supply of medicines”.
After mass protests across the country, Beijing lifted its strict nationwide ‘zero-Covid’ policies in December last year.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called on China to share detailed information on the increase of respiratory illnesses and reported clusters of pneumonia in Children.
Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, were a group of doctors and activists who voiced concern about the recent surge.
One claimed we are currently in the midst of a ninth Covid wave and “no one is taking any precautions at all”, saying the world finds itself in a “completely crazy” situation.
An independent researcher took to X to claim China was “hiding a massive disease outbreak”.
Reuters report that there has been no indication of any undue public alarm.
Bruce Thompson, head of the Melbourne School of Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne, said very preliminary data suggested there was nothing out of the ordinary.
“At this stage, there is nothing to suggest that it may be a new variant of COVID,” he said.
“One thing to note is that we can be reassured that the surveillance processes are working, which is a very good thing.”
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