Outrage in China After Live Patient Found in Body Bag

Shanghai incident called a sign of 'chaos' under zero COVID strategy
By Mike L. Ford,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2022 3:09 PM CDT

An elderly COVID patient in Shanghai is lucky someone decided to double check the body bag before sending it to the morgue. Videos of the incident, which occurred Sunday, show mortuary workers putting a body bag into a vehicle and then pulling it back out, opening it, and realizing that the man inside was still alive. Per the BBC, the event "has sparked widespread anger on Chinese social media," with some calling it another sign of the "chaos” in Shanghai under China’s continuing "zero COVID" strategy. So far, four local officials have been fired and one doctor’s license has been revoked over the incident. Authorities say the patient is now in stable condition.

CNN reports that the patient was an elderly man from a nearby nursing home. The person filming the video can be heard commenting: "The nursing home is such a mess. They sent a living person on a hearse and said they were dead. The undertaker staff said they were still moving ... It is irresponsible, really irresponsible." Shanghai, a major financial hub, is also the center of China’s current COVID outbreak, which began in March. Many of the city’s 25 million residents remain on home lockdown, leaving residents isolated and struggling to secure basic needs, including food and medicine. Others are banned from leaving their districts.

Shanghai’s elderly have suffered most during the outbreak, according to the Wall Street Journal, which says older people account for nearly all of the city's COVID deaths; furthermore, most of those who died were unvaccinated. The city reported 5,500 new Covid infections Tuesday, "accounting for more than 95% of the nationwide total," per the Journal. Twenty deaths were also reported, for a total of 474, but “doubts have surfaced over whether the data tell the whole story” as the disease continues to rampage through eldercare facilities. (Read more Shanghai stories.)

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