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More than 1,700 medical workers in China infected with coronavirus

More than 1,700 medical workers on the front lines of China's battle with a new coronavirus have been infected, and six have died, medical authorities said on Friday.

The vast majority of the medics ? 1,502 out of 1,716 ? have fallen ill in Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, said Zeng Yixin, deputy director of the National Health Commission.

It is the first time China is releasing an official count of infections among medical personnel during the Covid-19 outbreak.

"The fact that there are over 1,700 health workers among all the cases of Covid is very sad news," World Health Organization (WHO) emergency chief Mike Ryan told a press briefing in Geneva.

However, the situation can be brought under control with the right kind of safety training, according to the UN health agency.

Infections of medical workers during outbreaks are usually not due to a lack of protective gear but to inadequate safety procedures, especially among exhausted staff who work around the clock, according to WHO infection specialist Sylvie Briand.

The UN health agency is seeking data from China on when and how these health workers were infected, Ryan said, adding that initial information suggests that virus transmission in medical settings has decreased in the past two weeks.

Public sympathy for medical workers exposing themselves to the disease has surged in China, especially after the death last week of Li Wenliang, a doctor from Wuhan who sounded an early alarm about the virus and was initially rebuked by authorities for doing so.

Videos were also circulating online about a Wuhan nurse who reportedly walks to work every morning, with her husband driving behind her to light her away, as she has decided to self-quarantine from her family to avoid exposing them to the virus. (dpa)


More than 1,700 medical workers on the front lines of China's battle with a new coronavirus have been infected, and six have died, medical authorities said on Friday.

The vast majority of the medics ? 1,502 out of 1,716 ? have fallen ill in Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, said Zeng Yixin, deputy director of the National Health Commission.

It is the first time China is releasing an official count of infections among medical personnel during the Covid-19 outbreak.

"The fact that there are over 1,700 health workers among all the cases of Covid is very sad news," World Health Organization (WHO) emergency chief Mike Ryan told a press briefing in Geneva.

However, the situation can be brought under control with the right kind of safety training, according to the UN health agency.

Infections of medical workers during outbreaks are usually not due to a lack of protective gear but to inadequate safety procedures, especially among exhausted staff who work around the clock, according to WHO infection specialist Sylvie Briand.

The UN health agency is seeking data from China on when and how these health workers were infected, Ryan said, adding that initial information suggests that virus transmission in medical settings has decreased in the past two weeks.

Public sympathy for medical workers exposing themselves to the disease has surged in China, especially after the death last week of Li Wenliang, a doctor from Wuhan who sounded an early alarm about the virus and was initially rebuked by authorities for doing so.

Videos were also circulating online about a Wuhan nurse who reportedly walks to work every morning, with her husband driving behind her to light her away, as she has decided to self-quarantine from her family to avoid exposing them to the virus. (dpa)




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