Over 1,700 Chinese medical staff infected with novel coronavirus

Over 1,700 Chinese medical staff infected with novel coronavirus

Agency News

Beijing, Feb 14: Chinese health authorities on Friday said that 1,716 medical staff had been infected with the novel coronavirus by Feb. 11, accounting for 3.8 percent of the overall confirmed cases in the country.

Nearly 90% (87.5%) of those medics came from Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital. Among them, six people had died from the virus, accounting for 0.4 percent of the country's total deaths, the National Health Commission said at a press conference.

In a hospital in China, it is estimated that of the 500 medical staff at the hospital, more than 130 may have been stricken by the virus. Critics pointed out accusing fingers at the government's initial delay in releasing information about the outbreak that kept the medical staff unaware of the potential dangers during its early stages. The disease will be easily transmitted from human-to-human was a fact overlooked. Li Wenliang, a Wuhan doctor, who died from the coronavirus lask week, had tried to warn others early on in the outbreak but was silenced and punished by Chinese police for "spreading rumors” in the fear of the truth will be a setback to China’s image. Li, 34, was an ophthalmologist at the Wuhan Central Hospital. He later died after contracting the virus unwittingly from a patient on January 10.

Unaware of the health risks, many doctors and nurses were only wearing disposable masks when treating potential coronavirus patients at the beginning of the outbreak. The World Health Organization also blamed China in its statements on January 14 and 17 saying that China had not reported any cases of infection among health care workers. XINHUA