Many people living in Shanghai have tested positive for coronavirus, but they are not showing any symptoms. They are being sent to quarantine centers in exhibition halls or other buildings.
Tensions are high in China because of its strict policies.
BEIJING — Beibei lies beside thousands of strangers on rows of cots at a high-ceilinged exhibit center. Beibei, a 30-year-old realty saleswoman, is unable to find a hot bath because the lights are on throughout the night.
After being isolated for 10 days after a positive test, Beibei and her husband were taken to the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai. Their 2-year old daughter, who was negative, went home to her grandfather while her nanny went into quarantine.
With 50,000 beds, the convention center is one of more than 100 Shanghai quarantine facilities for people like Beibei, who are positive but do not have symptoms. This is part of the official effort to control China’s largest coronavirus epidemic since the pandemic started two years ago.
Residents have “no obvious symptoms,” Beibei said to The Associated Press via videophone.
She said, “There are people who cough.” “But I don’t know if they have laryngitis, omicron.”
Shanghai’s shutdown, which kept most of the 25 million residents in Shanghai to their homes, is testing people’s patience as they grow tired of China’s “zero-COVID” policy, which seeks to isolate every case.
Beibei stated that at first people were panicked and scared. “But, with the publication daily figures, people have begun to accept that this particular viral infection is not so terrible.”
Beibei was informed that she would be released Monday, after having been subject to two negative tests at the convention centre.
Since March 28, most of Shanghai has been shut down. This led to food shortages and high economic losses.
A quarantine facility is required for anyone who tests positive, but has no or few symptoms. Beibei stated that she experienced a stuffy nose, and lost some of her senses of smell and taste for a short time. However, these symptoms disappeared in a matter of days.
The government reported Monday 23,460 new cases in China mainland — only 2,742 had symptoms. 95% of total cases were in Shanghai, which accounts for 22,251 cases. There were 2,420 symptoms.
Since March, the city has reported over 300,000. Although Shanghai has begun to ease restrictions since last week, a health official warned that the city doesn’t have its epidemic under control.
According to Beibei, residents at the convention center are checked for fever twice daily and given instructions to keep track of their health on mobile phones.
Many people pass their time reading, square dancing or taking online classes.
This 420,000-square-meter (4.67 million square feet) exhibition center is most famous for hosting the largest auto show in the world. You can also find temporary prefabricated buildings at other quarantine locations.
Other residents have complained of leaky roofs and insufficient food supply, as well as delays in receiving treatment for their medical issues.
Beibei stated that he has not found a hot-water shower in a hotel. “Lights are on throughout the night and it’s difficult to fall asleep.”
A video taken by AP shows wet floors and beds due to a leaky roof at another facility in a prefabricated structure.
Beibei stated that the NECC’s “bathrooms are not very clean.” “So many people use them and volunteers or cleaners are unable to keep up.”