Chinese Communist Party authorities have ordered local officials in China’s northeastern province of Jilin, which borders North Korea and Russia, to build nearly two dozen “makeshift hospitals” last month to treat Jilin’s skyrocketing Chinese state-run coronavirus caseload. to manage something Global Times reported on Monday.
“Jilin Province has built 19 makeshift hospitals to allow the surge of COVID-19 [Chinese coronavirus] Patients from Monday,” the newspaper reported on March 28.
Jilin’s “makeshift hospitals” have also been dubbed “makeshift hospitals” and “quarantine centers” by other Chinese state media in recent days.
Xinhua, China’s official state press agency, reported on March 14 that construction of a “quarantine center in Jilin” started a day earlier.
“The project is designed with 6,000 quarantine rooms in an area of about 430,000 square meters,” Xinhua explained.
The news agency’s report included several photos of the medical facility’s construction site, taken on March 13 in Jilin city, the second largest city in Jilin province. The images appeared to show Chinese state workers laying the groundwork for the project.
The Jilin provincial government announced on March 15 that it had opened six “temporary hospitals” on the same day.
“Five hospitals are located in Jilin city, the hardest-hit area [by the Chinese coronavirus epidemic]and one was built in the provincial capital of Changchun,” Zhang Li, deputy director of the Jilin Provincial Health Commission, told Xinhua at the time.
“In addition to seven medical facilities vacated due to the resurgence, there are over 20,000 beds available for COVID-19 [Chinese coronavirus] cases in the province,” revealed the state news agency.
Chinese Communist Party Vice Premier Sun Chunlan referred to Jilin’s “makeshift hospitals” in a tough decree on March 25, demanding that local Party officials enforce “strict measures” on the province’s population to curb virus transmission .
“High-quality screening should be conducted daily, and anyone who tests positive should be sent to designated or makeshift hospitals immediately,” Sun said.
The statement by the Communist Party leader suggested that Jilin residents, most of whom were already under strict lockdown orders, were forcibly taken to government quarantine facilities if they tested positive for the Chinese coronavirus.
Elsewhere in her March 25 statement, Sun described the epidemic situation in Jilin Province as “difficult” and in need of a “quicker response” from local health authorities.
“It takes work,” Sun acknowledged Jilin’s coronavirus protocol.
The announcement marked a rare admission of poor performance by a senior Chinese Communist Party official. Jilin government authorities have apparently failed to contain the province’s latest epidemic of coronavirus since it began earlier this month, allowing it to spiral into a public health crisis that requires reinforcement at the federal level.
According to Xinhua, on March 17, the Chinese Communist Party “disciplined” 16 local party officials in Jilin province “for their inadequate epidemic prevention efforts.”
“Some of the officials, including the head of the municipal health commission in the provincial capital of Changchun, were removed from their posts, while the others were fined,” the Chinese state press agency said.
Jilin Province documents “1,086 confirmed [symptomatic] cases and 907 asymptomatic cases” on March 28, according to the Global Times. That number was almost the same as the province’s daily Chinese coronavirus case count on March 15 (1,456), suggesting that Jilin’s epidemic of the disease has not yet leveled off.