With the shortage of medical supplies, people are scrambling for help across China as coronavirus continues to take the lives of several with every passing day. The common people are trying to procure surgical masks as their first line of defence during the chaotic times.
Many define the actions of the government being non-responsive in such situations. The government, in turn, said that the shortage is due to the holidays during the Lunar New Year when the factories usually closed. Long queues and people camping to procure medical attention have caused a wide range of criticism to flood in, from the citizens and the rest of the world.
Is there a proper containment plan?
When the SARS outbreak happened 17 years ago, China had fallen into a similar situation where they couldn't find a solution to contain the disease. The government was questioned on why there wasn't a proper plan after the previous outbreak.
The Chinese government has established a medical reserves system, that is updated every now and then. This was supposed to ensure sufficient supply in the case of an emergency. Despite the rule, the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention says that some hospitals do not maintain or update the reserve.
An article that detailed on the emergency medical supply reserve in a province in China the CDC said that out of the 11 mandatory items that are supposed to be stocked in the hospital only five were fully stocked at the local level.
But the patients not only complain about the lack of medical supplies. They are also concerned about the practitioners who are saving them. People prefer to go to hospitals for medical needs instead of local clinics and General Practitioners. There is a lack of trust when it comes to visiting the GP's in China because they believe that they are not properly trained. Due to the lack of trust, the people ran to the well-known hospitals in the country also known as the Grade III Level A hospitals.
This has led to long lines in front of the hospitals and health inequality in the country. Authorities are building two temporary hospitals and deploying medical personnel from the military who are equipped with tackling such outbreaks.