nearly 1,400 dead in China, including six healthcare workers

Beijing (hooly News) – The assessment of the epidemic of the new coronavirus approached the 1,400 dead Friday in China, where the authorities revealed that six members of the nursing staff had died, underlining the risks which they run in overflowed hospitals.

Nearly 64,000 cases of contamination have now been recorded in the country, including at least 1,716 among doctors and nurses working in contact with the sick, according to the National Health Commission, which acts as a ministry.

The vast majority (1.102) of these hospital infections were in the city of Wuhan (center), capital of Hubei province and the cradle of this epidemic of viral pneumonia Covid-19.

The announcement came a week after the death of a doctor who had tried to alert the authorities, but had been reprimanded by the police, due to the virus. His death had provoked anger on social networks.

Due to an influx of patients in Hubei hospitals and a shortage of protective supplies (masks, full suits), some of the healthcare staff find themselves at the mercy of contamination by the virus.

Nationally, the National Health Commission reported on Friday 121 new deaths in mainland China (excluding Hong Kong and Macao) in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 1,380 deaths.

– ‘Grand test’ –

China accounts for 99.9% of all deaths worldwide due to the coronavirus. So far, only Japan and the Philippines have each reported a death on their territory.

The fight against the virus constitutes “a great test for the system and the capacities of governance of the country”, recognized on Friday president Xi Jinping, according to public television CCTV.

The epidemic has revealed “gaps and shortcomings,” he conceded, calling for improvements to the national health care system, comments made at a meeting of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

On the American side, after initially congratulating Beijing on its “very professional work”, the White House distanced itself from Thursday.

“We are a bit disappointed with the lack of transparency on the part of the Chinese,” said Larry Kudlow, President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser, to the press.

He notably regretted that Beijing had, according to him, declined American proposals to send experts to China.

When questioned on the subject, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Geng Shuang, said Friday that Beijing had been “transparent” since the start of the epidemic.

– Radio –

“China has always viewed cooperation with the United States in a positive and open manner,” he said, adding that the health services of the two countries maintained close communication and exchanged information “without waiting”.

These American critics intervene whereas the health authorities of Hubei announced Thursday with the general surprise a widening of their definition of the people reached with viral pneumonia Covid-19.

Until now, a screening test was essential to declare a case “confirmed”. From now on, patients “clinically diagnosed”, in particular with a simple chest X-ray, will also be counted.

This new method has automatically inflated the number of dead and officially infected people, with the announcement Thursday of a surge of more than 15,000 new cases of contamination, and Friday more than 5,000.

These figures depict a more serious situation than reported so far, but “does not represent (s) a significant change in the trajectory of the epidemic,” tempered the head of the department of health emergencies of the World Organization health (WHO), Michael Ryan.

With this new method, the authorities in Hubei intend above all to get suspected patients to treatment as quickly as possible – a solution that has received WHO approval.

– Cruise over –

The city of Wuhan, where the new coronavirus appeared in December, and the surrounding province of Hubei remained cut off from the world on Friday for more than three weeks via a draconian sanitary cordon.

The two CCP chiefs for Hubei and Wuhan, castigated by public opinion for their handling of the crisis, were dismissed on Thursday.

Elsewhere in the world, the Covid-19 epidemic is keeping authorities on alert, with several hundred confirmed cases of contamination in some twenty states.

In Vietnam, the commune of Son Loï (10,000 inhabitants) near Hanoi was placed in quarantine on Thursday after the discovery of six cases. It is the first such measure in the country.

But the main source of infection outside China is still the cruise ship Diamond Princess, in quarantine in Japan near Yokohama (east): 218 cases of contamination have been confirmed there, including 44 new cases announced Thursday.

Conversely, the hundreds of passengers of an American cruise ship, the Westerdam, were able to disembark in Cambodia on Friday: the boat had wandered at sea for more than 10 days, five Asian ports preventing it from docking for fear of the coronavirus .

In France, 181 first returnees from Wuhan left Friday a holiday center near Marseille (south), where they had been confined for 14 days.

bur-jug-ewx-ehl / sg