As reported cases of Covid-19 (coronavirus) disease in China surpass 65,000, about 1,716 medical workers have been infected and six of them have lost their lives.
The number of confirmed cases has been increasing astronomically since the disease was first detected in December in Wuhan, Hubei Province in China.
As of Sunday, more than 68,000 people have been infected in China, with the death toll standing at 1,665.
China’s National Health Commission said about 8,096 patients have been cured and discharged from hospital. There are still 8,969 suspected cases, however.
So far, 169,039 are now under medical observation, after they were identified as having had close contact with infected patients.
New cases spiked earlier in the week after a change in the way infected cases were counted in Hubei Province. However, they have been falling since.
Meanwhile, outside China, there have been more than 500 cases in nearly 30 countries. Four people have died – in France, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Japan.
25,633 Medics Sent to Hubei
The new director of Hubei health commission, Wang Hesheng, said on Saturday that 217 medical teams comprising 25,633 members from across China were sent to central China’s Hubei Province since the beginning of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Out of these, 1,716 medical workers have been infected by the coronavirus in China as of February 11, and six of them have lost their lives.
To reduce the infection rates among the health workers, China has rolled out more measures on Friday to protect those working at the forefront of fighting the novel epidemic.
The outbreak has had an impact on not just China’s health sector but on almost all the economy of the country.
Most of the cities in the country had been under lockdown since January after the detection of the disease across the country. This was one of the measures the government took to curb the spread of diseases.
This affected the production sector, as the cost of living and the inflation rate within the country increased.
However, the Chinese authorities said the virus did not have a negative toll on all the sectors as it also created opportunities.
“Many sectors have seen rapid growth during the period, including online working, online education, online healthcare and non-contact retail.
Meanwhile, as scientists are battling to contain the disease, governments across the world have been urged to step up their efforts to prepare for the virus, as “it’s impossible to predict which direction this epidemic will take.”
This call was made on Saturday by the World Health Organisation Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus, while addressing foreign policy and security experts gathered for the Munich Security Conference.
Mr Ghebreyesus said that the agency was encouraged that there has not yet been widespread community transmission of the virus outside of China.
He also cautioned against panic over COVID-19, saying rumours and misinformation hamper response and increase the potential havoc the virus could cause in countries with weaker health systems.
“The global research community has come together to identify and accelerate the most urgent research needs for diagnostics, treatments and vaccines”, and that a team of international experts is now on the ground in China, working closely with Chinese counterparts to understand the outbreak, and to inform the next steps in the global response,” he said.