this is what shanghais covid outbreak looks like

Shanghai is being gripped by China’s massive Covid wave, leading to a surge in hospitalizations and crowded funeral homes.

Local health officials said last week that up to 70 percent of the city’s 26 million residents had been infected, and they expressed confidence that its outbreak had peaked.

But many of the city’s hospitals are still overcrowded, particularly with older people. Funeral homes have been inundated with mourners.

Infections soared across China late last year, and the government abruptly lifted its strict, but ultimately futile, Covid restrictions in early December. Shanghai endured one of China’s most grueling lockdowns last spring, with residents confined to their homes for more than two months.

China’s current wave of infections has been fueled by a lack of immunity in the population, most of which was not exposed to the coronavirus for years because of the country’s strict controls. In addition, many older adults never received a full course of vaccines or booster shots.

The following photographs capture the grief and anxiety that swept across Shanghai over the weekend, beginning with this image of patients being taken to the emergency room of a Shanghai hospital.

Hospital personnel say they are overworked because many colleagues are absent, having tested positive for Covid.

With hospitals overwhelmed, patients are being treated in every available space.

Many older Chinese adults did not take a full vaccine course or get booster shots, fearing that they were too frail to be inoculated.

People in a hospital courtyard, with the body of a recently deceased family member.

Consoling a grieving woman outside a Shanghai funeral home.

Mourners coming out of a funeral home, one carrying the ashes of the deceased.

Another crowded hallway in a Shanghai hospital.

A view of a hospital lobby.

Getting treatment in a hallway.

Patients in a crowded Shanghai hospital.

Another group of mourners, walking past a funeral home.

A body on a gurney in a Shanghai hospital.

Li You contributed research.

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