Sleeping bags on sun loungers and no showers: Inside one of Shanghai’s COVID quarantine centres

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Shanghai residents have begged authorities to improve living conditions for elderly relatives sent to makeshift COVID quarantine centres.

Videos sent to Sky News show elderly people housed in the canteen of an old school.

They sleep in sleeping bags on top of sun loungers in a communal room and there are no shower facilities.

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The man who sent videos to Sky News wished to remain anonymous

“There are around 160 to 180 sun loungers on this floor,” the man who shared the videos told Sky News.

He is in the same quarantine centre and wanted to remain anonymous because police have threatened punishment for anyone relaying such information.

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“A sun lounger is unsuitable for an old person to sleep, right?

“Then, they were pulled out from home after 10.30pm, 11pm or even midnight. Then after, there’s no good medical support or proper living conditions for them.

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“That shows they didn’t plan well. It’s not good for old people’s [health].”

On Weibo, a social media site, users also posted messages begging for help.

People are sleeping in sleeping bags on top of sun loungers in a communal room
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People are sleeping in sleeping bags on top of sun loungers in a communal room

One wrote: “Please save my 90-year-old grandma! At 1am last night, she was sent to a makeshift hospital after she tested positive.

“She has high blood pressure, diabetes, a heart stent, difficulty moving, and cannot take care of herself. The makeshift hospital could not guarantee her safety.”

Others said that their relatives had died after delays in getting treatment at hospitals and quarantine centres, although Sky News was unable to verify their stories.

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The man who shared the videos with Sky News said: “I have two requests: Firstly, people of 90 years old or over and those with basic diseases who may be not too old and who have not enough medicines to take, could go to somewhere better.

“Because here, the pandemic workers said there is no medical support for them and that they won’t give us the medicines.

Elderly people are being housed in the canteen of an old school
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Elderly people are being housed in the canteen of an old school

“Secondly, I hope that the living conditions of the old persons who can take care of themselves can be improved, for example, change the sun loungers to proper beds, wood ones or steel ones.”

Most of Shanghai continues to maintain a very severe lockdown, with residents barred from leaving their homes.

COVID cases have been trending downwards over recent days, with 18,495 cases reported on 21 April, a slight drop on the day before.

shanghai cheshire
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Some people have said their relatives had died after delays in getting treatment, although Sky News was unable to verify their stories


Eight new deaths were also reported.

Although the outbreak in Shanghai remains the most serious in China, restrictions are in place across the country.

Forty-four cities are currently under full or partial lockdowns, with around 356.5 million people currently affected by some sort of lockdown measures – defined as stringent mobility restrictions – according to investment bank Nomura.

President Xi Jinping said on Thursday: “For humanity to clinch a final victory against the COVID-19 pandemic, more hard efforts are needed.”

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