China’s COVID Trauma Returns As Hazmat Workers Disinfect Streets

A worker in protective gear holds a sign which reads "Do not crowd" during a mass testing day for residents in a lockdown area in the Jingan district of western Shanghai Monday, April 4, 2022. China has sent more than 10,000 health workers from across the country to Shanghai, including 2,000 military medical staff, as it struggles to stamp out a rapidly spreading COVID-19 outbreak in China's largest city. (AP Photo/Chen Si)
  • Public health workers wearing full protective gear have appeared on the streets of northern China, according to footage on social media, evoking memories of the country’s stringent anti-virus measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The hazmat-clad personnel were seen spraying disinfectant in public spaces in Sanhe, in China’s northern Hebei Province roughly 50 miles east of capital Beijing, according to the poster of the images and video footage. It remains unclear whether this was a local government initiative or central government directive.
  • The reemergence of the gear, however, has raised speculation about the potential return of pandemic-era restrictions amid a surge of respiratory illnesses, notably among children, which has strained hospitals in the region. The outbreak is being closely watched by the World Health Organization, the agency said last week.