In light of the improving epidemic situation in Shanghai, more health clinics and delivery services in the city have resumed operation, the city government said on Monday.
Zhao Dandan, deputy director of the Shanghai Health Commission, said at a news briefing on Monday that nearly 70 percent of community health centers in the city are now open five days a week, and more than 2,600 pharmacies in the city have also reopened.
The community clinics are allowed to prescribe up to three months' worth of medicine and hospitals have opened "green lanes" for special medicines such as those treating cancer and mental illnesses, Zhao said.
A total of 600 doctors and pharmacists have been providing online consultation and medical prescription services on the commission's mobile app Health Clouds since April 12, and a daily average of 8,000 orders of medicine have been delivered to patients recently, he said.
More departments at comprehensive and specialized hospitals, including those affiliated to universities, have also resumed full operations.
At the Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital of Fudan University, elective gynecological surgeries were recently resumed.
Hua Keqin, Party secretary of the hospital, said on Saturday that the diagnosis and treatment teams of the gynecology department are now rescheduling patients whose surgical appointments were affected by the lockdown.
A 52-year-old patient who had abnormalities with her uterus underwent a hysterectomy at the hospital on April 28. The hospital pointed out that more than 50 patients, including some traveling from regions outside Shanghai, underwent emergency surgeries to remove malignant tumors last month despite the city's lockdown.
Shanghai Zhongshan Hospital and Ruijin Hospital have also reported a rising number of elective surgeries being performed.
Zhongshan said it currently performs more than 110 surgeries every day. Meanwhile, Ruijin announced that it had resumed full medical service on April 26, and all its 43 departments have been receiving patients. More expert-level doctors have also returned to work.
In the meantime, the Shanghai Postal Administration on Sunday released a white list of 21 enterprises offering postal and express delivery service.
The enterprises include China Post, SF Express, Cainiao, JD Logistics, as well as UPS and FedEx.
"All sorting centers of these major couriers in the city have resumed operations," read the notice by the administration.
"We'll help the enterprises further break through the bottlenecks and give full play to the positive role of the industry during this special period," it said.
Government departments and subdistrict authorities have also been urged to support such enterprises with their resumption of operations.
The city's postal administration said on April 21 that around 10,000 couriers were working in supply transportation and express delivery positions in Shanghai.
Local news outlet Shanghai Observer reported on Monday that over 1,000 couriers with ZTO Express and more than 500 couriers with STO Express have resumed work.
On the epidemic prevention front, the Shanghai Party and government leadership on Monday urged local officials to step up efforts for on-site epidemiological investigations to determine close contacts and locate more precisely the origin of the virus to stop community transmission.
As the city reported 322 local confirmed COVID-19 cases and 3,625 asymptomatic cases for Sunday, Zhao said that when doing the work of epidemiological surveying and tracing close contacts, officials must base their decisions on science and the circumstances of each scenario instead of resorting to a one-size-fits-all approach.
"We shall listen to people's needs with hearts and patience, and help them overcome difficulties and solve their problems, so as to win the battle of defending Shanghai against the virus," he said.