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The Xian Gaoxin Hospital was one of two medical facilties ordered to close. Photo: Handout and Xian International Medical Centre, in Xian city, China’s Shaanxi province, involved in recent scandals while under Covid-19 lockdown which resulting in a death and a miscarriage, have been ordered to suspend operation for rectification. (credit: Xian Gaoxin Hospital)

Covid-19 in China: patients express concern after hospitals ordered to close over patient deaths

  • Two hospitals in Xian that turned away patients who subsequently died were ordered to close for ‘rectification’
  • Residents and medical staff wrote on social media that they were worried about the impact this would have on patients
Residents of a Chinese city locked down for three weeks have taken to social media to voice concern after two hospitals were closed because their strict enforcement of virus rules led to patient deaths.

Guo Shuzhong, a doctor at Xian International Medical Centre Hospital, wrote on Thursday on his verified Weibo account that he’d “never felt so anxious” because 117 patients – mostly children – had ear surgery delayed, raising the risk of infections that could lead to permanent damage.

Video: New round of mass testing in Xian, the northwestern city at epicentre of China’s Covid-19 outbreak

He said on Friday he had been given permission to finish the procedures. Guo did not respond to attempts to contact him via the social media platform.

A woman who said she was due to give birth soon at the same facility said she was worried about finding a new hospital so late in her pregnancy. “Where should I go?” she posted on Thursday.

Earlier this month, a woman’s miscarriage outside Xian Gaoxin Hospital, which denied her entry over an expired Covid test, caused uproar.

Authorities in Xian, a city of 13 million people, on Thursday ordered both facilities to close for three months to undergo a “rectification” process.


Chinese Woman loses baby outside hospital over strict Covid rules

Chinese Woman loses baby outside hospital over strict Covid rules

Xian health authorities issued guidelines later on Thursday urging the two hospitals to make arrangements for patients to receive treatment elsewhere. Critically ill patients will be allowed to remain in the facilities.

The episode underscores a key challenge facing the government of President Xi Jinping, whose officials are struggling to strike a balance between enforcing policies, including zero Covid, to the satisfaction of their bosses and making sure the public’s needs are met.

Last month, Xian punished 26 people for failing in their virus-control responsibilities.

China is determined that its officials will maintain a firm grip ahead of next month’s Winter Olympics.

‘How could things get so bad?’: 3rd lockdown week looms for Xian

The event running February 4-20 will be held in a bubble that covers part of Beijing and neighbouring Hebei province.


After the woman’s miscarriage, Vice-premier Sun Chunlan tried to clear up any confusion, telling health officials they “must not turn away patients under any excuse”.

Despite China’s strict pursuit of zero Covid cases, the nation continues to deal with flare-ups including in the port cities of Dalian and Tianjin – where the Omicron variant has appeared – and in the central province of Henan.