Coronavirus: New China figures highlight toll on medical staff – BBC News, BBC News

Coronavirus: New China figures highlight toll on medical staff – BBC News, BBC News

                                 Exhibition hall converted to hospital in Wuhan - 5 February Image copyright                   AFP                                                        
Image caption                                      Authorities in Wuhan have had to create extra hospital space to cope with large numbers of cases                              

Chinese officials have given figures for health workers infected with coronavirus, amid concerns about shortages of protective equipment.

Six health workers have died and 1, 823 have been infected since the outbreak, they said.

The death a week ago of Doctor Li Wenliang , who tried to warn authorities early on about the virus, provoked a burst of public anger and grief.

More than 1, 405 People are now known to have died from the virus.

The latest figures show (new deaths in China, bringing the toll to 1, 405. The total number of infections has jumped to , cases, according to the National Health Commission.

The World Health Organization said there was no major shift in the virus’s pattern of mortality or severity, despite a spike in cases in Hubei, the epicentre of the disease, on Tuesday.

Most of this was down to Hubei using a broader definition to diagnose people, said Mike Ryan, head of WHO’s health emergencies program.

There was also no significant rise in cases outside China, the WHO said.

however, a cruise ship docked in Japan, the Diamond Princess , saw (new cases, bringing the total there to

What is the situation with medical workers?

Zeng Yixin, vice minister of China’s National Health Commission, said 1, medical workers had been infected in Wuhan, where the outbreak began, and another in other parts of Hubei province.

He said the number of infections among staff was increasing.


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Media caption Medics in Wuhan resort to shaving their heads in a bid to prevent cross-infection of the coronavirus

“The duties of medical workers at the front are indeed extremely heavy; their working and resting circumstances are limited, the psychological pressures are great, and the risk of infection is high, “Mr Zeng said, quoted by Reuters.

Local authorities have struggled to provide protective equipment such as respiratory masks, goggles and protective suits in hospitals in the area.

One doctor told AFP news agency that he and 24 colleagues were showing possible symptoms of the virus.

Another medical worker said she and more than 218 other staff at h er hospital had been quarantined . A further 447 had been confirmed to have been infected there out of a staff of 700 She told CNN. On 7 February the plight of medical workers was highlighted by the death of Li Wenliang, a doctor at Wuhan Central Hospital who had tried to issue the first warning about the virus on December.                                                                                                        Image copyright                   Li Wenliang                                                        

Image caption                                      Li Wenliang contracted the virus while working at Wuhan Central Hospital                              

He had sent out a warning to fellow medics but police told him to stop “making false comments “.

A wave of anger and grief flooded Chinese social media site Weibo when news of Dr Li’s death broke.

                                                                                                       Image copyright                   AFP                                                        
Image caption                                      Asian airlines have been hard hit by the virus outbreak                              

Economic impacts of the virus

Global airline revenue expected to fall by $ 4bn (£ 3.1bn) to $ 5bn this year