Pneumonia outbreak: China hospitals set up ‘homework zones’ for sick children
China Pneumonia Outbreak: China health authorities have repeatedly said that no novel viruses were detected.
Hospitals in China have set up special "homework zones" for children battling respiratory illnesses amid an outbreak of pneumonia, it was reported. China is grappling with a surge in cases of respiratory illnesses in children due to an "overlap of known pathogens" as the country faces its first winter since lifting Covid-19 restrictions. The number of cases has "overwhelmed" hospitals in the capital Beijing and neighbouring cities.
But health authorities have repeatedly said that no novel viruses were detected and the cases were linked to viruses such as influenza, rhinoviruses, the respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV as well as bacteria such as mycoplasma pneumoniae that infects the lungs.
Images and videos of children doing homework while receiving intravenous drips in the hospital were widely shared on social media while state broadcaster CCTV reported that young children were provided with chairs and desks to study as they received drips in Jiangsu, Anhui and central Hubei provinces.
Children wearing masks were also seen completing their homework while their parents helped them as hospitals made separate study zones for sick children.
“My kid had to do his homework this way because if he did not finish it, he would have to do a lot more when he returns to school after he recovers,” a father told the broadcaster.
Parents were criticised for putting their sick children through study on social media with one X (formerly Twitter) user writing, “This picture is real and children doing their homework in hospitals is common in China. We live in a country of hell mode.”
“Some hospitals even have a permanent area reserved for these students who ‘like’ to do homework and it’s something they publicise and brag about,” another said.