Number of medics getting infected with NCP to become less: expert

By Wan Lin Published: 2020/2/12 0:03:29

A doctor checks the chest X-ray of a patient suspected of having novel coronavirus on Monday at an isolation station of a residential community in Hongshan district in Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

Medics getting infected with the novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) mostly happened in the early stages of the outbreak, and the infection rate should become less and less with the increasing attention and prevention provided to front-line medical workers, an expert said on Tuesday.

Most cases of medics getting infected resulted from scarce knowledge that the public had about the epidemic at the time of the outbreak, Zhou Zijun, a professor at the Peking University's School of Public Health, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Despite the strong infectiousness of NCP, Zhou believes that the medical material support offered from across the country and overseas to protect the front-line medics will help to stop the rate of infections from increasing.

A chart that the media reported on February 3 showed that there were 15 hospitals in Hubei with more than 15 medical workers confirmed with the NCP. But respiratory doctors told the Economic Observer that the actual number could be even higher than the chart showed.

In the epicenter Wuhan, the number of medics infected with NCP is estimated to exceed 1,000, which accounts for more than five percent of the total 18,454 confirmed cases in Wuhan as of noon on Tuesday, reported the Economic Observer. The percentage is relatively lower than that of medics infected with SARS in 2003 - 20 percent for a total of more than 4,500 confirmed cases nationwide.

Amid the ongoing fight against the virus, the medical staff numbers in the epicenter are getting stronger.

As of Sunday, the National Health Commission has sent 11,921 medical personnel from across the country to Hubei Province to help control the NCP. Among them, 5,000 were sent on Sunday alone.

The speed of treatment and quarantine should be maintained in order to outpace the spread of the virus, or it will lead to a bigger shortage in medical personnel, said Jiang Chaoliang, secretary of the Hubei Provincial Committee of the CPC at Sunday's press conference on control of NCP in Hubei.

The National Health Commission (NHC) also requires governments in places outside Hubei to ensure a sufficient supply of protective equipment for local medical workers, particularly in rural areas, according to an NHC official at a press conference held by the State Council on Tuesday.


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