New data from China’s national health minister shows the heavy toll that the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak is taking on medical workers.
Chinese health authorities announced on Friday that 1,716 medical staff had been infected with the virus as of February 11, accounting for about 3.8 percent of all confirmed cases around the country.
1,102 of the infected medical workers are from Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, while another 400 are from other parts of Hubei province.
The statistics help to underscore reports of shortages of protective equipment for front-line medical workers in the province.
So far, six of the infected medics have died from the virus. This includes Li Wenliang, the whistleblower doctor who was one of the first to sound warnings about the coronavirus, only to be summoned by police for “spreading rumors.”
Li’s death earlier this month sparked the kind of outpouring of public grief and anger that is rarely seen in China.
Meanwhile, doctors haven’t only been dying from the virus but also from overwork while fighting the virus.
A 28-year-old doctor in Hunan province died on February 3 from exhaustion after working 10 days straight.
Four days later, a 51-year-old doctor in Nanjing also worked herself to death after being on the job for 14 consecutive days. Afterward, local authorities called her a “role model for other medics.”