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China keeps engine roaring to ensure global medical supplies amid pandemic

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Staff package deal face masks within the Zhejiang Kaierhai Textile Clothes Co in Shaoxing of East China’s Zhejiang Province. The clothes maker not too long ago began to provide and export face masks and different COVID-19 prevention supplies when their conventional enterprise is threatened by pandemic, with international clients suspending their orders. Picture: Yang Hui/GT

As demand for life-saving medical provides continues to skyrocket globally, China, as a significant world provider, is sparing no efforts to make sure regular provides, with factories operating 24 hours a day to make the whole lot from masks to check kits and ventilators, airways and transport companies scrambling to increase transport channels and officers stepping up efforts to assist enhance the provision chain.

Nonetheless, at the same time as China ramps up efforts to extend medical provides, main logistical hurdles stay attributable to restrictions put in place by many nations to fight the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. There are additionally issues over the standard of a number of the tools, in gentle of current media stories about some malfunctioning masks and take a look at kits – attracting requires intensified quality-control efforts each in China and overseas. 

Surge in provides 

Beijing Aeonmed Co, which makes ventilators that assist COVID-19 sufferers breathe, has stored its machines operating 24 hours a day and has transformed different manufacturing strains to deal with ventilators to satisfy surging export orders.

“There are too many abroad orders,” Li Kai, an government on the firm advised the World Instances on Sunday, noting that the corporate has obtained “tens of hundreds” of abroad orders from about 40 nations and areas, together with Italy, the UK, Mongolia and Ukraine.

Aeonmed shouldn’t be alone. Since February, there are 12,000 new firms in China which have began to provide masks and ventilators, bringing the overall to 53,000, with over 17,420 of them being licensed exporters, in line with media stories. Some firms, corresponding to Beijing Siriusmed Medical System, mentioned that each one of its output of 80 to 100 per week are for the abroad market, Cui Gang, scientific director of the corporate, advised the World Instances.

Because the variety of confirmed COVID-19 circumstances surges internationally, international demand for ventilators, has elevated as a lot as 10 instances, in line with some estimates. Going through dire shortages of the gadgets, public well being employees in nations from Italy to the US have been or will reportedly be compelled to resolve which sufferers to avoid wasting and which of them to not.

Other than ventilators, international demand for private protecting tools (PPE) corresponding to masks, gloves, robes and different medical gadgets corresponding to take a look at kits and infrared thermometers has additionally been surging. Maria Van Kerkhove, an official with the World Well being Group, warned on Wednesday that the world was dealing with a “vital scarcity” of PPE and different gadgets, although she didn’t provide a certain quantity.

Airport workers unload packing containers of face masks and medical provides from an airplane of Air China, in Athens, Greece, on March 21, 2020. Roughly eight tons of medical provides supplied by the Chinese language authorities to Greece after Athens’ pressing request arrived on Saturday morning at Athens worldwide airport on an Air China flight.The help consists of 550,000 masks and units of protecting gear, in line with a launch issued by the Chinese language embassy in Greece. (Xinhua/Marios Lolos)

Whereas the Chinese language authorities and different organizations proceed to donate PPE to dozens of nations around the globe, the variety of export orders has additionally been rising considerably. Greater than 17 nations such because the UK and Italy have signed buy contracts with Chinese language companies, Geng Shuang, a spokesperson for the Chinese language International Ministry, mentioned final week. Over the weekend, France ordered one billion masks with the overwhelming majority from China and can dispatch 56 cargo flights to move them.

“The abroad demand for masks is excess of provide,” Cao Jun, Basic Supervisor on the Zhejiang-based Lanhine Corp, advised the World Instances on Sunday, noting that half of the corporate’s 1.2 million day by day masks output will go to abroad markets, together with Germany and the US.

Shenzhen-based BGI Genomics mentioned that it has exported 7 million take a look at kits to 70 nations and areas and has elevated its day by day output to 600,000, the corporate mentioned in an announcement to the World Instances. 

Total, China has considerably elevated the output of PPE and different medical gadgets and the numbers might additional develop, in line with trade insiders. Between February 1 and March 15, 28,000 firms have expanded their operations to manufacturing of masks, robes and different medical tools, in line with enterprise information supplier Tianyancha. For instance, day by day output of masks has elevated by 16 folds to round 116 million a day and the quantity might additional leap, in line with media stories.

“Similar to the response to the epidemic itself, China is basically making a nationwide effort to make sure medical provides to assist within the international battle in opposition to the coronavirus pandemic,” Wang Jun,  an analyst on the China Middle for Worldwide Financial Exchanges, advised the World Instances on Sunday.

China’s nationwide efforts

Not simply Chinese language factories, officers and different firms have additionally been scrambling to make sure regular provide of medical tools for the world. Other than home fiscal and different coverage assist for medical tools producers to increase manufacturing, Chinese language officers have additionally been arranging transportation for the provides.

As of Thursday, China’s airways had performed 23 flights that carried a complete of 406 tons of medical provides to nations around the globe, Zhang Qing, a senior official with the Civil Aviation Administration of China, advised a press briefing on Sunday, including that the company will provide money incentives to assist airways.

SF Categorical, a supply companies agency, mentioned that since February 13, it has opened routes, together with to New York, and has delivered 742 tons of provides to greater than 50 nations and areas, the corporate mentioned in an announcement to the World Instances on Sunday. China Postal Airways and YTO Categorical have additionally operated over 100 cargo flights and delivered a complete of greater than 710 tons of provides abroad, Jin Jinghua, an official at China’s State Put up Bureau (SPB), advised a press briefing on Sunday.

Chinese language officers have additionally maintained operation of the China-Europe cargo practice companies, given the strict deadlines for the provides, air cargo stays the most suitable choice for transportation of medical tools, as sea transport and even intercontinental trains might take too lengthy, trade analysts mentioned. 

For instance, cargo shipped from Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province might take as many as 18 days to achieve Germany, Xu Yuanyuan, supervisor of Shaanxi Additional Technique Provide Chain Administration Co, advised the World Instances. 

Xu mentioned that logistics might be extra speedy and smoother for orders made by international embassies. Many international governments, together with Russia and the UK, have additionally reportedly dispatched airplanes to select up provides instantly from China.

Logistics, high quality issues 

Nonetheless, there are main hurdles that stay for logistics, in line with Chinese language officers and companies. “We’re additionally seeing delays in abroad packages attributable to inadequate international air capacities and disruptions to international transport channels due to the pandemic,” Jin with the SPB mentioned.

Sally Gao, an worker from the Wuhan Information Infrared Co, mentioned that the corporate has been dealing with difficulties to ship its infrared thermometers abroad and a batch of 20 thermometers are nonetheless held up at US customs. “The largest drawback is that abroad purchasers are in a rush for our merchandise however transportation takes too lengthy,” Gao advised the World Instances on Sunday, including that air cargo is just too costly.

In gentle of current stories about high quality points with Chinese language-made medical provides, a number of factories on Sunday mentioned that high quality comes first at the same time as demand surges.

Aerial photograph taken on March 24, 2020 exhibits workers members transport cargo by a crane at Luokou freight station in Jinan, capital of east China’s Shandong Province. The freight station of China Railway Jinan Group Co., Ltd has transported 14,409 tons of provides within the final three months, together with 378 tons of meals and medical supplies to Hubei Province, serving to the total resumption of labor and manufacturing throughout China. (Xinhua/Wang Kai)

“Ventilators undergo numerous inspections earlier than acquiring certifications and have to be in keeping with laws on high quality,” Li from Beijing Aeonmed mentioned, including that the corporate has been exporting its merchandise to greater than 100 nations and areas even earlier than the pandemic. 

Nonetheless, after the Netherlands reportedly recalled Chinese language-made masks as a result of they didn’t meet high quality requirements, there are mounting calls in China to accentuate efforts to make sure the standard of all its medical provides not simply due to security issues but in addition its impression on China’s manufacturing sector.

“Little doubt, high quality is essential for medical provides. It is essential for China to be sure that all merchandise are as much as international requirements,” Wang mentioned, noting that aside from home quality-control efforts, international regulators’ cooperation can be mandatory to verify purchases are made by means of correct channels. 

Some firms mentioned that they’ve been dealing with ceaselessly altering guidelines and laws from international governments over the necessities of medical provides, which can have precipitated some “misunderstandings” and confusion however insisted that solely a small quantity of merchandise have high quality points.

Some have additionally denied elevating costs in gentle of the surging demand, whereas others say that sure will increase in costs are regular given the rising costs of uncooked supplies. 

Cao from masks producer Lanhine mentioned that it is inevitable that masks would see value hikes because of the rising costs of uncooked supplies. “Worth hikes are in compliance with market supply-demand relations, for which, the Western media can not apply ‘double requirements’ to,” mentioned Cao.

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A message from Wuhan people to the world

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Photograph: Cui Meng/GT

Reflecting on the previous two months, folks in Wuhan, whose lives have been upended by a 76-day metropolis lockdown to comprise the coronavirus, imagine easy phrases are removed from sufficient to precise their combined emotions concerning the virus, for his or her beloved ones, for strangers who supplied assist throughout the darkest moments, and for the town which simply stepped cautiously into its altered future after the lockdown was lifted on Wednesday.

For the Wuhan folks, the scars of the coronavirus will stay of their hearts endlessly: some witnessed loss of life of their closest relations; some suffered psychological trauma after seeing their beloved metropolis’s struggling; some cynics got here to imagine within the vibrant facet as they had been warmed by strangers’ kindness… and now, they wish to share their ache, their hope and their power with folks nonetheless struggling towards the virus in different elements of the world. 

Liu Bo, a Wuhan native, issued an SOS discover on China’s Twitter-like platform Sina Weibo in early February when his 78-year-old mom, with an underlying coronary heart situation, was recognized with COVID-19 however was denied a mattress as a result of Wuhan hospitals had been strained.

“I felt like the entire world owed me and abandoned our household; I gnashed my tooth each time I considered the hospital receptionists’ chilly voice telling me there’s nothing they might do, ignoring my fixed begging. I noticed the darkest facet of the world then,” mentioned Liu, who posted the message on-line out of desperation. 

However the message labored. Liu’s mom was admitted right into a hospital 5 days after he raised a public alarm. “After I posted the message, I received tons of of calls on daily basis from throughout China asking about my scenario, and plenty of journalists additionally referred to as.”

Liu mentioned he was an individual who doesn’t like asking for assist from others. However this time, he was touched. “In any case, there are extra good folks than dangerous ones.”

Liu’s mom was discharged from the hospital on Wednesday, the identical day because the lifting of the lockdown, a milestone marking the town’s hard-fought virus battle. However Liu can not keep together with his newly recovered mom for lengthy.

“My firm went bankrupt throughout the epidemic and left me jobless. I’m going to Shanghai tomorrow to search out my cousin, hoping he would assist me get a job there.”

An proprietor of a clothes retailer in Wuhan, coronavirus’ hardest-hit metropolis, livestreams gross sales on Friday. Photograph: Li Hao/GT

Bitterness and sweetness 

Somebody left, however others selected to remain.

Lengthy Xu, a Tibetan from Southwest China’s Sichuan Province, was stranded in Wuhan since January when he came around a relative. 

On January 24, the day after Wuhan imposed lockdown, Lengthy rode for 4 hours on a motorbike and volunteered in Huoshenshan, the emergency subject hospital for treating COVID-19 sufferers. He slept solely two hours a day to assist the development, and took care of sufferers. 

“How come I’m not scared? I used to be scared to loss of life after I noticed somebody immediately fall in entrance of me and go out. My household additionally persuaded me to not go there. I used one factor to purpose with them.”

Lengthy was decided to assist Wuhan folks as a result of he noticed many volunteers flock into his hometown Sichuan to assist when a devastating earthquake hit the province in 2008 and claimed 70,000 lives. 

“Their good deeds in my hometown are in my coronary heart endlessly,” mentioned Lengthy, who has determined to remain in Wuhan even after the lockdown was lifted. Now, he works as a neighborhood volunteer serving to ship meals and provides for a nursing dwelling.

“I promised to stick with Wuhan after the pandemic recedes right here. I’m a person, and may stand by my phrase.” 

If Westerners do not obey quarantine guidelines and keep indoors, the pandemic will not recede of their international locations even when they’ve many extra medical doctors, Lengthy mentioned.

Many contributed to Wuhan’s phased victory who obeyed the principles and locked themselves in, which helped stem the invisible tide. However for Wuhan folks, frontline medical doctors are their actual heroes.

“My legs started to shake after I checked 20 examination outcomes of coronavirus sufferers,” mentioned an official from Wuhan’s Wuchang district well being fee. She mentioned she tried to cover her worry as this could shake the already fragile confidence of different medical staff. 

She went to work with frontline medical doctors within the fever clinic of Wuhan’s No. 7 hospital. “Our protecting supplies and medicines are step by step going low, because the variety of confirmed sufferers of COVID-19 surges day-to-day… However we’ve got no alternative.”

The official mentioned she noticed the primary gentle on the finish of the tunnel upon the arrival of the primary patch of oxygenators, which helped sufferers with extraordinarily low blood oxygen saturation to breathe. 

“She smiled at me when she breathed easily. And the smile is like sunshine that pierced the long-lingered haze in my coronary heart.”

When all Wuhan folks had been urged to remain in to keep away from additional contagion, Zhang Zheyan went out extra typically than ever.

Zhang, a supervisor of a Wuchang district market, which was ordered closed after the epidemic broke out in late January, shouldered the accountability of delivering meals for greater than 500 households throughout the lockdown.

“I solely slept two hours on daily basis as I’ve to gather greens from the encircling villages and ship them to these households one after the other who can not exit,” mentioned Zhang. When the duty turned too heavy for Zhang to endure, he inspired his son and daughter to assist.

“Who is not afraid of the virus? However somebody has to resolve the difficulties of the pandemic. If everybody thinks solely of themselves, everybody simply stays dwelling and does nothing, we can’t be killed by the virus; we’ll starve first.”

Thursday is the second day since Wuhan lifted its 76-day lockdown. Workplace buildings and markets are getting ready to reopen whereas public transport has turn into busier. The whole lot in Wuhan is reviving. Photograph: Li Hao/GT

Sympathizing with others

Wuhan folks at the moment are celebrating their hard-won victory, and are additionally sympathizing with different elements of the world, that are beneath hearth due to the virus.

Their expertise? Keep united, keep indoors and imagine that every part will finally be higher. 

“What I wish to say to the world is watch out and defend yourselves, and all the time cherish hope,” a younger girl surnamed Huang, who has been staying indoors for over two months beneath strict quarantine, advised the International Occasions. 

All of us dwell in the identical world. Do not take any probabilities, she mentioned. “It is best to get critical and defend your self and your loved ones from this pandemic. From the early stage of the outbreak to the containment of the virus, Wuhan has gathered troublesome however worthwhile expertise,” she mentioned, noting that Wuhan individuals are keen to share this expertise to anyplace on this planet to assist others get via this second.

Wang Lushan, head of a residential neighborhood workplace in Wuhan, mentioned that it’s the mutual belief of the Chinese language authorities and its folks that made the present phased victory of Wuhan.

“Individuals complained on the floor, however as soon as the quarantine notices had been issued, they obeyed, as a result of deep of their hearts they imagine it was the most suitable choice and belief the federal government,” Wang mentioned.

She additionally mentioned folks locally labored collectively like a giant household, as they helped their neighbors and even competed with different communities to attempt to cut back the variety of suspected and confirmed instances of coronavirus.

A 32-year-old nurse surnamed Wei who has been working on the frontline and spent some weeks at a makeshift hospital in Wuhan mentioned “We have been dwelling in a peaceable period for thus lengthy, and the person’s and authorities’s capabilities of dealing with stress and trauma must be enhanced, she mentioned. “We nonetheless have a protracted method to go to enhance social governance. Hope everybody may make efforts.”

“We additionally want for world peace, hope that the worldwide society may reduce secondary disasters from this outbreak,” she mentioned.

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ICU specialist reveals secrets of saving sickest COVID-19 patients

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Though he was given the title “Grasp of ECMO,” Zhong Ming, an intensive care specialist despatched to Wuhan from Shanghai, stated that within the lengthy weeks he spent treating probably the most crucial COVID-19 sufferers, he discovered the remedy was not a panacea.  

Appointed by the Nationwide Well being Fee, Zhong, director of the crucial care drugs division of Zhongshan Hospital affiliated to Fudan College, headed to Wuhan, capital of Central China’s Hubei Province on January 23. He was despatched to the ICU division of Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital, the primary clinic within the metropolis to obtain COVID-19 sufferers.


Photograph: VCG

Powerful starting

Throughout his work at Jinyintan Hospital, there have been solely three ICU wards within the hospital with 16 beds, which was removed from sufficient to obtain the inflow of crucial sufferers. Later, the hospital tailored one other two flooring into isolation wards for crucial sufferers.

With the crucial wards filled with sufferers, he stated he understood that this time, it will be “actually tough.” 

Zhong led a workforce of medical doctors and was answerable for a makeshift ICU inpatient space.

Usually, the situation of the sufferers transferred to them had turn out to be crucial. “Each affected person had been by way of therapies that did not work earlier than they have been transferred to us. It was a tough wrestle for us medical doctors,” Zhong stated.

Having handled folks with SARS in 2003 and offering medical support within the aftermath of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in Sichuan Province, Zhong has racked up greater than twenty years’ expertise in treating crucial sufferers. 

Along with his breadth of expertise in treating crucial sufferers, Zhong was dubbed the “ECMO grasp.”

ECMO, Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, is a remedy the place a machine pumps and reoxygenates the blood outdoors the physique to present the lungs and coronary heart a relaxation, much like that utilized in coronary heart bypass surgical procedure. 

hong Ming seen within the documentary Hero Metropolis produced by the Xinhua Information Company Photograph: Screenshot from documentary

Zhong discovered the scenario in Wuhan was extra extreme than he ever may have imagined. “COVID-19 is a completely new illness to people and it was tough to tug again crucial sufferers from loss of life,” Zhong stated.

Zhong recalled that to start with, the novel coronavirus had caught them off guard. Their earlier expertise was not working in Wuhan as a result of the medical assets have been overwhelmed by the numbers of sufferers and medics knew nothing in regards to the mechanism of the unusual illness. 

Zhong discovered that some sufferers who have been in a steady scenario and will talk, died immediately the subsequent day. “It was past our data of illnesses,” he stated. 

Many individuals anticipated rather a lot from ECMO, calling it the “the final straw” to avoid wasting lives. However Zhong stated initially of February that ECMO will not be almighty and its impact varies from affected person to affected person.

“Most important sufferers are aged and so they normally turn out to be crucial after two or three weeks which is like Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS) or an inflammatory response,” he stated. “Sufferers present delicate signs within the first week earlier than turning crucial within the second week, which not solely impacts the lungs but in addition causes a number of organ dysfunction syndrome and the life saver ECMO didn’t have the impact we anticipated.”

After utilizing ECMO on totally different sufferers, Zhong’s workforce discovered that if a affected person suffers solely from respiratory failure, lung failure or coronary heart failure, ECMO works properly to assist cardio-pulmonary operate. But when the affected person has a number of organ failure, it’s exhausting to make use of ECMO to assist cardio-pulmonary failure.

Zhong stated that one 83-year-old girl who was in crucial situation when she got here to Zhong’s workforce couldn’t breathe with the oxygen tube. Zhong used a non-invasive ventilator to regulate her breath and keep away from tracheal intubation. Within the remedy, the girl improved and will breathe with a nasal tube.

The lady has recovered from COVID-19 and was transferred to a non-critical care ward. 

Daybreak of success

After Zhong had been capable of discover remedy choices for a few weeks, the scenario improved. 

Though nonetheless powerful, Zhong discovered the restoration charge was growing as healthcare employees sought efficient strategies and realized what labored. Particularly after optimizing remedy procedures, the workforce may work extra successfully which benefited remedy.

Some sufferers within the ICUs have been decided, their eyes exhibiting their will to outlive. A crucial affected person struggled to present Zhong a thumbs up, and stated “thanks for coming to Wuhan and thanks for serving to us.”

As greater than 40,000 medical employees have been deployed to Hubei and as tools and medicines arrived, the town which had been on the brink, began to show a nook. In Jinyintan Hospital, Zhong noticed that extra sufferers have been discharged, which inspired and gave confidence to all of the healthcare employees. He recognized three elements in curing crucial instances.

First, medical doctors ought to get to know extra in regards to the illness, take measures a step forward of the illness, and never wait till it’s too late to take remedial measures. Second, after the medical support arrived, medical care capability was improved. Third, categorization and isolation ought to be clear and affected person switch ought to be in time.

He stated that the pandemic alerted those that we want a mature system to deal with emergent public well being occasions. In regard to crucial care drugs, the nation ought to be ready when it comes to skilled expertise, procedures and regulation making and provide of medical tools.

Zhong’s daughter performs piano. Each night time, she performed piano for her father by way of video chat, which helped revive him from the annoying work of the day.

“Dad, you stated that you’re a good physician however why there are folks dying?” his daughter requested him someday.

Going through the harmless query, Zhong had no reply however a bitter smile. Though his workforce is aware of in regards to the illness, the mechanism of how sufferers fall into crucial situation was nonetheless unknown.

On the afternoon of April 6, Zhong returned to Shanghai together with different medics from the town. 

“[After the pandemic,] I need to go to work as typical, I need to spend a weekend like earlier than to really feel life as soon as once more,” Zhong stated when requested about his plan after the pandemic.

“Earlier than, I did not understand that each single day is necessary and the way valuable the peaceable atypical life is,” he stated.

World Instances – Companies
Newspaper headline: ECMO Grasp

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Chinese PLA holds ‘regular’ drills near Taiwan in preparation for military struggle: experts

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Two J-11 fighter jets and a H-6K bomber fly in formation on Might 11, 2018. Photograph: Xinhua

 

 

The Chinese language Folks’s Liberation Military (PLA) reportedly held navy drills that includes warplanes close to the island of Taiwan on Friday, and such drills, having taken place a minimum of 4 occasions for the reason that conventional Spring Pageant vacation in January, have grow to be common and at the moment are part of navy wrestle preparations towards the island, mainland specialists stated on Friday.

A number of PLA warplanes, together with the H-6 bombers, KJ-500 early warning plane and J-11 fighter jets, performed a far-sea long-range drill above southwestern waters close to the island of Taiwan on Friday, Taiwan media reported on Friday, citing the island’s protection authority.

The PLA warplanes entered the Western Pacific Ocean via the Bashi Channel, then returned to base alongside the identical route they got here from, studies from the island stated.

Tune Zhongping, a mainland navy knowledgeable and TV commentator, informed the International Occasions on Friday that the drills had been part of preparations for the potential navy wrestle towards the island of Taiwan, and such drills have grow to be common and routine.

After the normal Spring Pageant vacation in late January, the PLA performed a combat-readiness patrol mission that includes warships and warplanes on February 9, joint workout routines on February 10, and “uncommon” warplane nighttime workout routines on March 16, all close to the island of Taiwan, regardless of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Tune stated he expects the PLA to step by step maintain bigger and extra frequent drills, and for the drills to grow to be extra focused and have extra deterrence, comparable to decapitation strikes towards secessionist forces and space denial operations towards international intervention.

The workout routines have to let Taiwan secessionists know that the assist of international forces is ineffective and likewise let international forces perceive that the PLA possesses the power and dedication to resolve the Taiwan query, Tune stated.

The drills on Friday additionally got here after the US just lately signed the Taiwan Allies Worldwide Safety and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act into legislation, which permits the US to cut back, increase or terminate financial and diplomatic engagements with nations that take actions to undermine Taiwan, and assist Taiwan island achieve participation in worldwide organizations, both as a member or an observer, and supply weapons to the island.

Zhu Fenglian, a spokesperson for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Workplace, stated following the signing of the US act on March 26 that China’s nationwide reunification and rejuvenation is not going to be stopped by any pressure.

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