Pregnant Woman In China Denied Access to Hospital as COVID Cases Surge

Zahra Khan, Contributing Writer

As we enter the early days of 2022,  COVID-19 remains to be seen as a deadly virus. As the Omicron variant takes over the headlines, there is a continuous struggle of hospitals being filled, and citizens desperately trying to avoid the illness. According to The Asean Post, global case numbers have rocketed, with a 270 percent increase since Omricon’s first appearance in South Africa. More than 200 million average cases have been reported between January 1 and 7. 

As hospitals reach capacity across the globe, the space occupied is taken up of COVID-19 positive individuals. Kevin Romanchik—a critical care nurse who works for the University of Michigan Health System—notices the new wave of COVID-19 is “directly impacting our ability to care for patients in a safe manner.” Hospitals are already in critical condition with staff being targeted by the virus. However, patients admitted into hospitals have priority if they have COVID-19. The question then becomes, what happens to those who also have critical needs, but can’t be guaranteed a hospital bed because of the ever-increasing COVID-19 patients? 

This dilemma was highlighted on New Year’s Day, in the city of Xi’an, China. New Year’s day is normally a cause of celebration and excitement for individuals around the world. According to AP News, a pregnant woman was only feeling pain as the rest of the world relished in the New Year’s Day celebrations. This pregnant woman was seated on a pink plastic chair outside of Gaoxin Hospital for reportedly not having Covid-19 results. The pregnant woman was having major abdominal pains, while blood was pooling at the woman’s feet. Yet, she was still denied access to the hospital while being in critical condition. 

As a result of this tragedy, the general manager Fan Yuhui has been suspended and the heads of the outpatient department and medical department were fired. 

While staff members lost jobs and were held somewhat accountable, this tragic story has sparked numerous questions and controversies, now viewed as a moral dilemma. People are starting to notice non-COVID-19 related illnesses—no matter how life-threatening—are not being as prioritized as COVID-19 related cases. This ignorance thus places lives in jeopardy as seen with this pregnant woman, virus or no virus.