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Rural China’s Fight Against Omicron

NewsChina, Chinese Edition January 2, 2023

By NewsChina Updated Mar.1

The sharp rise in Omicron infections in China’s villages is challenging local clinics which lack medicines and medical staff. By 2021, there were nearly 980,000 community-level hospitals, of which 599,000 were rural health clinics. Official statistics showed that as of the end of 2020, people aged 60 and above accounted for 15.8 percent of the population in urban areas, and in rural areas, the proportion was 23.8 percent. The low vaccination rate in rural areas and the influx to villages during the Lunar New Year is expected to further deteriorate the situation. In those outlying areas, where the huge aging population is susceptible to high morbidity, intravenous drips are widely used, despite being the last measure the WHO recommends after medicines and intramuscular injection. The transfer of critical patients to higher-level hospitals is required, even though hospitals in towns and cities are already overcrowded.