1.7K Health Workers Have New Virus

Six of them have died from COVID-19
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2020 7:40 AM CST
1.7K Health Workers Have New Virus
A nurse tears up as she talks about the situation in Jinyintan Hospital, designated for critical COVID-19 patients, in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020.   (Chinatopix Via AP)

For the first time, China has disclosed the number of medical workers affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Authorities said Friday that some 1,716 health workers have been infected since the start of the outbreak and six of them have died, RTHK reports. Around 1,100 of those cases are in Wuhan and another 400 are elsewhere in Hubei province, officials say. Doctors and nurses in the province are dealing with a major shortage of masks, gowns, and other protective gear, reports the New York Times. Some of them have pleaded on social media for donations from friends and relatives. China announced another 121 deaths Friday, bringing the total to at least 1,383, including three deaths outside mainland China.

"I think it’s quite concerning," a University of Hong Kong professor of epidemiology tells the Times. "Health care workers face the challenge of caring for a substantial number of patients in Wuhan. It’s worrying to discover that a number of them have been infected." China has expanded what it calls "wartime" measures to deal with the spread of COVID-19, but the director of the US National Economic Council voiced some complaints Thursday, reports the Guardian. "We are a little disappointed that we haven't been invited in and we're a little disappointed in the lack of transparency coming from the Chinese," Larry Kudlow said. (More COVID-19 stories.)

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