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One more doctor dies in Wuhan, death toll of medical staff rises to 10

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By PTI Updated: Feb 23, 2020 9:21 pm
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Beijing/Wuhan, Feb. 23 (PTI): A 29-year-old female doctor died on Sunday after contracting the coronavirus while treating patients at a hospital in China’s worst-hit Wuhan city, taking the death toll of the medical staff to 10, according to a media report.

Xia Sisi, a gastroenterology physician got infected while working at the Union Jiangbei Hospital of Wuhan in Hubei province, the epicentre of the virus.

She was hospitalised on January 19 and later transferred to Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University on February 7 after her condition worsened. She died on Sunday, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The Union Jiangbei Hospital mourned the death of Xia and expressed condolences for her family.

The Chinese medical staff, who are on the frontline fighting the COVID-19, are paying a heavy price in treating the surging number of cases.

China’s National Health Commission earlier said that a total of 1,716 medical workers had contracted the infection as of February 11.

Xia’s death takes the death toll among the medical staff to 10.

On February 20, Peng Yinhua (29), who postponed his wedding to treat patients infected with the coronavirus, died.

Earlier, Li Wenliang, a 34-year-old doctor, who was one of the first people to sound the alarm about the new outbreak died on February 7.
Liu Zhiming, head of the Wuchang Hospital too died due to the virus.

Liu Fan, a senior nurse of the hospital, also died along with her parents and brother from the disease.

South Korea virus cases spike, as Italy and Iran take drastic steps
South Korea reported a sharp jump in coronavirus cases on Sunday, while Italy and Iran took drastic containment steps as worldwide fears over the epidemic spiralled higher.

The contagion’s spread prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to warn that Africa’s unprepared health systems left the continent vulnerable to the COVID-19 disease, which spilled out of China and has infected more than 77,000 people in more than 25 countries.

Already one of the worst-hit nations outside of China, South Korea reported 123 new cases on Sunday, taking its fast-rising total to 556. Its death toll also rose to four with two additional fatalities.

The higher toll came a day after Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said the nation of around 51 million people faced a “grave” situation.

The Shincheonji Church of Jesus in the southern city of Daegu — considered by many a cult — has emerged as a hotbed of contagion, with hundreds of members infected.

Prime Minister Chung called on Koreans to refrain from attending large gatherings including religious services.

Italy and Iran began introducing the sort of containment measures previously seen only in China, which has put tens of millions of people under quarantine lockdown in the epicentre province of Hubei.

More than 50,000 people in about a dozen northern Italian towns near the business hub of Milan were urged by authorities to stay home, shuttering shops and schools.

Among dozens of cases, Italy on Friday became the first European country to report one of its nationals had died from the virus — a 78-year-old retired bricklayer in the region of Veneto.

That was followed Saturday by the death of a 77-year-old woman in Lombardy.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the government was weighing “extraordinary measures” to halt further infections.

Officials said all patients in Lombardy were linked to a 38-year-old man in intensive care in the town of Codogno, whom Italian media say dined in January with a friend who had returned from China.

Iran ordered the closure of schools, universities and cultural centres across 14 provinces from Sunday following five deaths in the Islamic Republic — the most outside East Asia and the first in the Middle East.

Iran’s outbreak surfaced on Wednesday and has quickly worsened with 28 cases confirmed.

Although Egypt is the only African country with a confirmed case of COVID-19, the WHO warned that the continent’s health systems were ill-equipped to cope with a potential major outbreak and urged more cooperation among the African Union.

6092
By PTI Updated: Feb 23, 2020 9:21:00 pm