More Than 3,000 Medical Staff Infected with Coronavirus in China

February 25, 2020 2:40 am

Beijing (PingWest)—During a joint press briefing by Chinese health authorities and World Health Organization in Beijing on Monday, officials said more than 3,000 medical staff in China had been infected by the new coronavirus, now known as SARS-CoV-2. 

These infections mostly occurred in Hubei and were likely due to the lack of protective gear and fatigue during the prior stages of the outbreak, said National Health Commission official Liang Wannian.

At the end of last week, Chinese authorities released a document listing measures to strengthen protection and care for medical workers. Entered a critical stage to fight back the infectious disease, hospitals need to attach great importance to the protection and care for medical staff who are assigned with heavy tasks, high infection risks, and immense work pressure, said the document.

The document highlighted several key measures to further protect and care for the medics, including raising salaries and benefits for personnel engaging in epidemic prevention and treatment, strengthening personal protection of medical professionals, providing mental health services for frontline medial workers in time, etc. 

Due to mismanagement of medical supplies donated to Wuhan on an incredibly large scale, medical staff, especially the nurses are forced to carry on their work without proper protection from the virus, which is transmittable via prolonged close contact and aerosol.

Bruce Aylward, the Canadian epidemiologist who heads the WHO team China, said at the briefing that he has seen a steep decline in newly-reported cases compared to the number when he first arrived in China two weeks ago.

The WHO team has conducted inspections in various parts of China, including Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province and the epicenter of the outbreak.

Also, WHO warned that the world was not ready for a major outbreak, due to new cases are escalating outside China. In Italy, where there has been an eruption of more than 150 cases, the authorities have locked down at least 10 towns, closed schools in major cities, and canceled sporting events. South Korea, on Monday, reported 231 additional cases, bringing the nation’s total to 833 cases and seven deaths.

On Monday, the Chinese officials said the death toll has climbed to 2,592 with 150 new fatalities while the total number of confirmed cases increased to over 77,000.