Beijing to conditionally reopen nursing homes

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, May 18, 2020
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Beijing plans to conditionally ease epidemic prevention and control restrictions over its 682 nursing homes from Monday.

The institutions, with some 48,000 senior citizens who remained in residence during the Spring Festival holiday, have reported zero infections of COVID-19 since Jan. 27 when Beijing closed off nursing homes amid the severe challenge from the novel coronavirus.

Starting from May 18, family visitors, returning and newly admitted senior citizens, returning and new employees, and medical and maintenance personnel are among those who will be allowed to enter the nursing homes after going through relevant procedures and ensuring adequate protection, according to Li Hongbing, deputy head of the Beijing Municipal Civil Affairs Bureau, at a press conference held on Sunday.

Li said returning residents and applicants will have to take at least two nucleic acid tests before and after 14 days of isolation and medical observation.

To cope with the impact of the COVID-19, Beijing will allocate 100 million yuan (about 14.1 million U.S. dollars) to support the operation of elderly service institutions, he said.

Aside from the current operation subsidy, known as "bed subsidy" which is 100 yuan for each person admitted, Beijing municipal government will subsidize 500 yuan per person per month according to the number of senior citizens actually admitted to the nursing homes during the epidemic.

About 40 percent of the subsidy will be earmarked for professional nursing homes, the rest goes to sub-elderly service institutions in urban and rural communities.

The subsidy covers the February-April period. Further decision will be made according to the epidemic prevention and control situation in Beijing.

The population of registered residents aged 60 or above in Beijing was 3.52 million by the end of 2019. 

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