Tue | Apr 7, 2020

Virus claims life of hospital director in hard-hit Wuhan

Published:Tuesday | February 18, 2020 | 9:51 AM
In this Monday, February 17, 2020, photo released by Xinhua News Agency, patients infected with the coronavirus take rest at a temporary hospital converted from Wuhan Sports Center in Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province. (Xiao Yijiu/Xinhua via AP)

BEIJING (AP) — As a mysterious new virus enveloped central China’s Wuhan early this year, Liu Zhiming mobilised all the resources of his hospital in the city’s Wuchang district to deal with the thousands of sick people arriving daily, threatening to overwhelm the local health care system.

That dedication appears to have cost him his life, with Wuhan’s health bureau announcing Tuesday that he became infected and died despite “all-out” attempts to save him.

Liu is at least the seventh health worker to die of the COVID-19 disease among the more than 1,700 doctors and nurses who have become sick.

His death comes as authorities are cautiously cheering a reduction in the number of new daily cases and deaths, along with the results of a study showing most people who contracted the virus experienced only mild symptoms.

China on Tuesday reported 1,886 new cases and 98 more deaths.

That raised the number of deaths in mainland China to 1,868 and the total number of confirmed cases to 72,436.

“Now the prevention and control work is at a critical time,” President Xi Jinping told British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a phone call Tuesday, according to Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.

Japan, meanwhile, announced that 88 more cases of the virus were confirmed aboard a quarantined cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, bringing the total to 542 among the 3,700 initially on board.

The UN Secretary General told The Associated Pres that the virus outbreak “is not out of control but it is a very dangerous situation.”

Antonio Guterres said in an interview in Lahore, Pakistan, that “the risks are enormous and we need to be prepared worldwide for that.”

Follow The Gleaner on Twitter and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us @onlinefeedback@gleanerjm.com or editors@gleanerjm.com.