Sudden surge in virus infections

By | February 19, 2020

A second doctor is dead after he was infected with coronavirus while treating patients at a hospital in Wuhan, China, where the deadly virus originated.

Respected neurologist Liu Zhiming, 51, died at 10.54am local time on Tuesday.

Liu’s death comes after fellow doctor and whistleblower Li Wenliang died on February 7.

Liu, who was the director of Wuchang Hospital in Wuhan died despite a “full-effort rescue”, Wuhan’s municipal health commission said.

He is the seventh health worker to die from COVID-19.

Health authorities announced 1303 more medical workers had been diagnosed with or were suspected of having the virus, taking the total to more than 3000.

Of that 3000, 1716 have been confirmed to have the virus.

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On Tuesday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) released updated numbers showing how fast the virus is moving from person to person.

In China, there are 72,528 people infected at last count, which includes 1870 deaths. The WHO reports there were almost 1900 new cases confirmed in the past 24 hours.

In central China’s Hubei province, medical officials are adopting new measures to identify patients.

According to Reuters, all records will be tracked down from patients who visited doctors since January 20 showing signs of fever, as well as all people who purchased cough and fever medications. That includes both over the counter and online.

The epidemic has triggered panic-buying in Singapore and Hong Kong, concerns about cruise-ship travel and the postponement of trade fairs, sports competitions and cultural events in China and abroad.

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The outbreak is threatening to put a dent in the global economy, with China paralysed by vast quarantine measures and major firms such as iPhone maker Apple, mining giant BHP and Air Canada warning it could damage bottom lines.

Several countries have banned travellers from China and major airlines have suspended flights.

Russia on Tuesday said no Chinese citizens would be allowed to enter its territory from February 20.

Authorities have placed about 56 million people in hard-hit central Hubei and its capital Wuhan under an unprecedented lockdown.

– with AFP

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