HomeLatest NewsRecord heat is falling on China's hazmat-clad Covid health workers

Record heat is falling on China’s hazmat-clad Covid health workers

A medical worker at a Covid-19 nucleic acid testing cabin takes a swab sample from a resident for a Covid-19 nucleic acid test on Aug. 22, 2022 in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China. It’s been a summer that has seen record breaking heat across the globe. Health workers in China have been particularly affected, braving relentless heat waves wrapped head-to-toe in protective gear as they continue to test the public for Covid-19, amid a seemingly never-ending series of outbreaks.

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It’s been a summer that has seen record breaking heat across the globe.

Health workers in China have been particularly affected, enduring relentlessly heat wave Wrapped head to toe in protective gear, as they continue to screen the masses covid19, In a seemingly never-ending series of outbreaks.

The force of workers, wearing hazmat suits known locally as “Big White”, is responsible for enforcing that China zero-covid Neeti has labored in temperatures of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for much of this year.

“The conditions inside are airtight,” Joshua Liu, a health worker in Shanghai, told NBC News by telephone last month. “Once in the suit, we can’t eat, drink and go to the toilet.”

Workers were “drenched in sweat” and had “shriveled fingers and palms” when they removed them, said Liu, who helped medical staff collect samples for Covid tests and register information on residents.

“I can feel my skin breathing and sweating,” she said. “Every day when I finally get off work, all I want to do is take a shower and fall asleep.”

The use of “Big White” was brought sharply into the spotlight last month when a video The biting of limbs of nurse Chunhua Jie while lying on an emergency room bed has gone viral on Chinese social media, after officials in Nanchang County in eastern Jiangxi province revealed it.

Wearing a protective suit, Chunhua had been undergoing a Covid test at the People’s Hospital of Nanchang County for several days when he suffered a heat stroke and fainted, the video’s text said. Temperatures outside the facility were over 100 degrees at the time, the video said.

Although he later recovered, the video sparked an online backlash and was later removed by officials.

But by then it had been widely shared and seen by millions WeiboChina’s largest microblogging site and other social media channels, where some have accused the government of incompetence.

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“Big White” has become a regular sight at Covid testing sites as health workers follow protective clothing guidelines issued by China’s National Health Commission in January 2020, shortly after the initial Outbreak of covid in Wuhan city.

In Shanghai, Liu said he and his colleagues regularly wear body coverings. Shanghai’s two-month Covid lockdown Between March and May, when authorities pursued China’s uncompromising “zero Covid” policy, schools, malls, convenience stores and gyms were closed and bus, subway and ferry services in the city were halted.

Throughout more localized neighborhood lockdowns in the months that followed, when residents were barred from leaving and entering their living compounds without permission, Liu said he and his colleagues helped with mass testing and contact tracing, as well as enforcement. Strict quarantine requirements.

But as the summer months arrive, so do the temperatures China is starting to rise and the mercury is regularly hitting 100 degrees in Shanghai. The commercial center of 25 million has hit 104 degrees seven times so far, surpassing the five-day hitting record set in 2013.

As a result, heatstroke started trending on Chinese social media, as people discussed symptoms including headaches, vomiting and fever, or in more severe cases people could go into convulsions or coma.

For Janice Ho, a postdoctoral fellow at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, it was a “good thing” that people were looking for the term because it helped them “become more aware that heat actually has implications for mortality.”

At the point when the body’s core temperature hits 100 degrees, “your organs will start to fail because it’s too hot to function and your body can stop regulating itself,” added Ho, whose research focuses on heat and public health. “That’s when it becomes fatal. It’s too risky to die from it.”

Several deaths have already been blamed on the extreme heat, including a 56-year-old construction worker in the city of Xi’an. He died in July of multiple organ failure and severe heat stroke after being hospitalized with a body temperature of 109.4 degrees, the state ruled. China Youth Daily Report

Following the release of Chunhua’s video, China’s National Medical Center for Infectious Diseases published an article stating that “wearing protective clothing (commonly known as “big white”) may greatly increase the risk of heat stroke.” Medical personnel were advised to wear lighter and more breathable surgical gowns instead.

But since then and on August 12 the temperature continued to rise the first China’s National Meteorological Center has issued a “high-temperature red alert”. That means four or more provinces recorded temperatures above 100 degrees in a 48-hour period, and more than 10 provinces are expected to hit between 100 and 108 degrees.

It remained in force for 12 days till 23 August.

For Ho, this shows that extreme heat should be taken as seriously as other extreme weather conditions.

“Strong measures have been taken to prevent people from being exposed to typhoons or rainstorms, but we have not treated the heat in the same way,” he said.


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