Chinese cities timely respond to public requests following lesson from Xi'an
Published: Jan 09, 2022 11:54 PM
Citizens queue up for nucleic acid test at a testing site in Futian District of Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong Province, Jan. 9, 2022. Photo: Xinhua

Citizens queue up for nucleic acid test at a testing site in Futian District of Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong Province, Jan. 9, 2022. Photo: Xinhua

After Xi'an apologized again for the delayed treatment of non-COVID patients, seeking to fix the loopholes in its epidemic response, other cities in China stepped up efforts to respond to the public's demands in a timely manner, for example, by streamlining the hospitalization process for pregnant women or using social media to collect public requests. 

A local resident in Shenzhen, in South China's Guangdong Province, reported in a comment on a WeChat article, published by the Shenzhen Municipal Health Commission, about a pregnant woman who had to wait 12 hours for the results of a nucleic acid test before being hospitalized. The authorities replied in six minutes asking for the phone number of the patient. The health commission's efficiency and responsible attitude to the public request was widely applauded by netizens. 

Shenzhen has reported four confirmed cases so far, a local government official said at a press conference on Sunday, noting that some parts of the city have been upgraded to medium-risk areas and all bus stations are temporarily suspended.

The official Weibo account of the Publicity Department of the Zhengzhou Municipal Party Committee, also posted on Sunday that citizens who need help with any problems can leave comments or send messages and they will inform the relevant departments immediately.

The strengthening of management in these cities is drawing lessons from Xi'an and taking further actions to improve governance. The Xi'an government's response to the outbreak has been widely criticized and the severity of the epidemic has tested the governance ability of the local government, media reported.

Last week, a pregnant woman in Xi'an lost her eight-month unborn baby after being left waiting outside a hospital for two hours, prompting an online backlash.

After the incident, the top leadership of the country, including Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan, emphasized that the health of the people remains the priority at all times and there is no excuse for rejecting patients amid an epidemic.

The officials from the National Health Commission said at a press conference on Saturday that other provinces should also learn from what happened in Xi'an and it is essential to make thorough work plans to ensure normal medical services will not be affected during the outbreak.

"I'm really glad to see the epidemic prevention policies are improving across the country,'' said one Weibo user who is now quarantined in Xi'an, adding that "it is great that other people do not have to go through this kind of panic anymore."

According to media reports, the information was soon forwarded to the hospital where the pregnant woman from Shenzhen was to be admitted and through coordination between the hospital and testing agencies, the patient received the nucleic acid test report and was hospitalized two hours after asking for help online.

Global Times