Eyewitness footage obtained by Reuters showed an overcrowded waiting area at the Beijing Children's Hospital, as China grapples with a surge in respiratory illnesses in its first full winter since easing COVID-19 restrictions.
Cases among children are appearing especially high in northern areas like Beijing and Liaoning province, where hospitals are warning of long waits. China's health ministry on Sunday (November 26) urged local authorities to increase the number of fever clinics.
The spike became a global issue last week when the World Health Organization (WHO) asked China for more information, citing a report on clusters of undiagnosed pneumonia in children by the Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases.
Reuters was able to verify the location of the videos by matching the signage, structural characteristics and layout of the interior with file images. Reuters was not able to independently confirm when the videos were filmed. China's National Health Commission has released lists of hospitals with pediatrics department, in response to the surge in respiratory illness in children. The list includes Beijing Children's Hospital.
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