Source: Gabrielle Reyes

China’s latest coronavirus outbreak forced more than 20 Shanghai hospitals to “suspend out-patient and emergency medical services” on Friday “for epidemic prevention and screening,” China’s state-run Global Times reported.

“Two nucleic acid tests will be conducted within the hospitals at 24 hours intervals. If all the nucleic acid tests results are negative [for coronavirus], it is expected that relevant hospitals will resume medical services since the morning of November 27 [sic],” the Global Times relayed, citing local health officials.

Shanghai ordered the 20-plus hospitals to limit services on November 26 after the city allegedly detected just three new coronavirus cases in people affiliated with Shanghai’s medical service industry on November 25.

“The reason why so many hospitals have implemented closed-loop management is mainly due to the numerous close contacts of the three confirmed cases, involving workplaces, living places, cultural activities as well as various means of transportation,” Lu Taohong, deputy director of the Shanghai Health Commission, told reporters on Friday.

China’s federal government coined the term “closed-loop management” at the start of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic. State health officials use the term to describe a site they have forcibly quarantined after a coronavirus outbreak or a facility in which they hope to prevent viral transmission. All staff and personnel connected to a site under “closed-loop management” must be “strictly confined to designated areas” for the duration of the quarantine period, according to If state authorities have set up a “closed-loop management system” at a site to prevent viral transmission, then the facility is treated as a “biosecure bubble” with movement in and out of the locale strictly monitored.

The Global Times detailed on November 26 how some of Shanghai’s hospitals have dealt with “closed-loop management” protocol. The descriptions suggested people working or being treated at such hospitals since November 25 have not been allowed to leave the medical centers.

“Convenience stores in the hospitals have stocked up on supplies to ensure the daily needs of the staff under closed-loop management. Notably, a baby girl was born on Friday morning, the first baby to be born under closed-loop management in Ruijin hospital,” the newspaper revealed.

“Along with the closure of hospitals, some transportation has been impacted,” the Global Times reported. “As of 10 am Friday, over 30 percent of flights at Shanghai Pudong International Airport were canceled, according to aviation intelligence platform VariFlight.”

China’s latest coronavirus epidemic began on October 17 and soon spread nationwide. The outbreak began after a Shanghai-based tour group traveled to China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous region in early-to-mid October where some of the group’s members allegedly contracted coronavirus, according to an official narrative promoted by China’s ruling Communist Party. Beijing continues to claim that unspecified foreign sources in Mongolia transmitted coronavirus to the Shanghai tour group while they visited the Inner Mongolia-China port town of Ejin Banner in October, though state officials have yet to provide evidence for the allegation.