Children and their parents wait at an outpatient area at a children's hospital in Beijing, China, on 23 November 2023. (Jade Gao/AFP)

Packed children’s hospitals in Beijing reflects China's social conditions

Academic Zhang Tiankan notes that crowded children’s hospitals in Beijing actually reflect social conditions, such as mindsets towards hospital treatment being the best and also the stressful education system, as children do their homework even while hooked up to IV drips. In many cases, rushing to the hospital as an immediate response could do more harm than good and be a great drain on public resources.
The Asiatic black bear is hunted in countries such as Vietnam and taken to “farms”, where its bile – prized in traditional Chinese medicine – is extracted. (SPH Media)

China struggles to wean itself off bear bile farming

Bear bile has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for more than a thousand years with proven efficacy in treating certain liver and gallbladder diseases. Its popularity in China has made a comeback after a scientific research paper found that a compound in bear bile might help protect people from Covid-19.
Chinese drugmakers are increasingly partnering with foreign companies to pitch their products overseas, but at what cost? (Srdjan Zivulovic/Reuters)

Cancelled contracts upset Chinese drugmakers’ overseas push

China’s innovative drug developers are increasingly partnering with foreign companies to pitch their products overseas due to tighter profit margins in the domestic market. But this route, while lucrative, can also be precarious.
Demonstrators gather outside Zhongshan park to protest changes to medical benefits in Wuhan, China, 15 February 2023 in this still image from social media video obtained by Reuters. (Social media/Reuters)

China’s silent healthcare insurance reform triggers protests among elderly

Recent changes to China’s medical insurance system have received backlash from its elderly population, who fear that their reduced incomes and increased medical expenses will make healthcare unaffordable for them. Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing looks at how the reforms will be implemented and their impact on the people.
A yellow Wedelia prostrata flower. (Photo: Alpsdake/Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0)

Every plant a medicine: Hiking in Hong Kong [Part 5]

In the fifth of a six-part series on hiking in Hong Kong, cultural historian Cheng Pei-kai shares the wonders of Hong Kong’s hiking trails. With the nagging feeling that the city’s development is slowly encroaching on nature’s bounty, Cheng traces the sights and sounds on a stroll on the beach in Wu Kai Sha, discovering plants of beauty with medicinal properties too.
Commuters ride an escalator in Shanghai, China, on 20 December 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

How China bolted from zero Covid towards herd immunity

China has announced the long-awaited transition from zero Covid to opening up, as inbound travel measures ease and mandatory quarantines are removed. However, the process will not be easy as medical resources are short and vaccination rates among the elderly are still low. Will China be able to handle the internal and external pressures of what is to follow after opening up? Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu tells us more.
People line up to buy antigen test kits for Covid-19, at a pharmacy in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, 19 December 2022. (China Daily via Reuters)

China prepares for Covid peaks in January

With the easing of Covid controls in China, many cities and provinces are seeing a sharp spike in cases. This wave is generally expected to peak in January next year, especially with the Chinese New Year travel wave. Lianhe Zaobao journalist Liu Liu takes a look at the possible direction and responses.
People line up at a fever clinic of a hospital, after the government gradually loosened the restrictions on Covid-19 control, in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, 10 December 2022. (Martin Pollard/Reuters)

Will mainland China see a 'tsunami' of Covid cases?

Following the protests against China’s strict Covid controls, the authorities have released ten new measures to ease or lift many Covid rules and restrictions. But while many people have been looking forward to this day, there is also anxiety as to what to expect with the sudden overnight changes.
People wearing face masks amid the Covid-19 pandemic walk along a street in Beijing, China, on 11 December 2022. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Is China ill-prepared for a surge in Covid cases?

With the sudden easing of anti-epidemic rules and Beijing’s latest surge in Covid-19 cases, people have been caught out by insufficient medication and are swarming to pharmacies and hospitals. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan gives a peek into the situation on the ground.