Published: Wed, February 19, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Wuhan Hospital Director Dies Due to Coronavirus Infection

Wuhan Hospital Director Dies Due to Coronavirus Infection

Liu Zhiming, director of Wuchang hospital in Wuhan, the city at the centre of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, on Tuesday died of the fatal malady.

Liu Zhiming, the director of Wuchang Hospital in Wuhan, died on Tuesday morning after "all-out rescue efforts failed", state broadcaster CCTV reported.

New virus cases in China continued to fall Wednesday, with 1,749 more infections and 136 additional deaths as the top official in the outbreak's epicenter vowed to find and isolate every infected patient in the city by day's end.

In the previous 24 hours, medical authorities counted 1,886 new cases and 98 deaths.

The WHO's Mike Ryan said China had success with "putting out the fire" first in Hubei and ensuring that people returning to Beijing from the Lunar New Year holiday are monitored. While quarantining passengers in separate accommodations on the ship seemed like a better option than dispersing those individuals around the world a few weeks ago, "there's been more transmission than expected". His death could renew criticism that the Chinese government has not done enough to protect frontline medical workers, many of whom are overworked and overstretched. About 5% of patients had critical symptoms, such as organ and respiratory failure or septic shock.

© Aly Song/Reuters People wear face masks and plastic raincoats as a protection from coronavirus at Shanghai railway station, in Shanghai, China, Feb. 17, 2020.

Dr Tedros said Chinese data "appear to show a decline in new cases", but any apparent trend "must be interpreted very cautiously".

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Currently, over 70,000 people are confirmed to have had the disease while more than 1,800 people have died. Authorities say the supply of goods remains stable and says panic buying is itself causing shortages.

The number of new daily coronavirus cases in mainland China fell below 2,000 for the first time since January. There is no vaccine yet for the virus. At least one quarantine officer also has been infected, according to Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, which is leading and coordinating the public health response on board.

The cruise ship industry has come into focus as hundreds of people became infected aboard a vessel off Japan. "The United States is not offering chartered evacuation flights from China", the notice said.

The U.S. evacuated 328 American passengers, with a lot of them placed in a 14-day quarantine at military bases in California and Texas. Everyone on board will be quarantined for 14 days. Liu was transferred to Wuhan Tongji Hospital on February 14 and has been under intubation since, she said.

'Less deadly' than SARS The official death toll in China hit 2,000 after another 132 people died in Hubei, where the virus emerged in December.

China's national health authority has said the declining numbers are a sign that the outbreak is under control.

Announcing his death, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said Liu had taken part in the battle against the virus from the start and had made "important contributions in the work of fighting and controlling" the virus.

Travel to and from the worst-hit central China region was associated with the initial cases of COVID-19 confirmed overseas.

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