Many patients have died in recent days at a large Shanghai elderly-care hospital that is battling a COVID-19 outbreak, according to people familiar with the situation, a sign that a new wave of infections is hitting China’s financial capital harder than authorities have publicly disclosed.
Shanghai’s government hasn’t reported any COVID-related deaths or outbreaks in its hundreds of elderly-care centers since cases began climbing in the city in March. Six replacement orderlies at the city’s Donghai Elderly Care Hospital, brought in after previous caretakers were sent away to quarantine, told The Wall Street Journal that they had witnessed or heard of the recent removal of several bodies from the facility, where they said at least 100 patients had tested positive for COVID-19.
It couldn’t be determined whether the deaths were caused by COVID infections or other chronic illnesses. The hospital doesn’t publicize data on deaths, making it difficult to compare the recent rate of patient deaths with previous periods. Some relatives of patients said their loved ones were left unattended after infected caretakers were quarantined.
City health officials haven’t acknowledged the rapid spread of infections at the facility. The government reported two new COVID cases at an address matching that of Donghai Hospital on March 16 and 17. In subsequent days, the government listed the address as a location where infections had been reported, but didn’t say how many cases were recorded.
An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.
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