The director of a hospital in Wuhan, the epicentre of the pandemic in China, died of coronavirus on Tuesday according to China’s official media CCTV. All efforts to save the life of Wu Xiang Hospital director Liu Zhiming failed as he died. There had been no report of any director-level hospital death due to coronavirus before Liu.
The death toll in China from coronavirus has risen to more than 2,000 while the total number of people infected has been 75,000. Hubei alone reported 132 deaths and 1,693 new cases.
Of the more than 2,000 deaths, 1,995 occurred in mainland China.
In the US, 14 American citizens evacuated from a Japanese cruise ship takes the figure of the infected up to 29 in that country.
The news of Liu’s death was first reported by Chinese media and bloggers after midnight on Tuesday, but then the report was removed. China then claimed that doctors were trying to save the ailing Liu.
Liu’s death is linked to Wuhan’s ophthalmologist Li Wen Liang’s death. Dr Li was arrested in late December by the Chinese police for raising an alarm. He died later.
Along with the nationwide indignation over Li’s death, people accused the government system of ignoring the threat of the virus. People remembered Li on social media as the news of the death of Dr Liu spread on Tuesday.
So far, six medical practitioners have died from coronavirus in China and more than 2,000 personnel have been infected by it.
China lacks coronavirus prevention kit
While China’s Ambassador to India Sun Weidong postured yesterday, expressing gratitude to India for offering to help with medical kits even as his country did not acknowledge India’s offer in the list of 57 such cooperating countries that it released last week, the news is now out that doctors in Wuhan lack masks and defensive bodysuits. Some doctors are working continuously, wearing improvisation masks and suits.
Health workers said that some doctors were showing signs of respiratory problems, but due to lack of medical staff, they have to work continuously. Coronavirus is most visible in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province. So far, 1800 people have died here.