More than 1,700 Chinese health workers have been infected by the new virus that has killed nearly 1,400 people and spread to other countries in Asia, Europe and the United States, a senior Chinese official said Friday.
Six of the workers have died, deputy director of the National Health Commission, Zeng Yixin, said at a press conference. “This issue is of grave concern” to the commission, which has issued standards for the prevention and control of evil in medical institutions, he added.
Health workers make up 3.8% of cases, Zeng said, citing figures a few days ago.
The commission reported a significant increase in the number of infections as a result of a new counting method adopted by the province of Hubei, the most affected.
Confirmed cases in mainland China rose to 63,851 on Thursday night, with 5,090 more cases than the previous day. The death toll rose 121 to 1,380.
Hubei province began to include cases based on the doctor’s diagnosis before laboratory tests confirm them. Of the 5,090 new cases, 3,095 correspond to that category.
The acceleration of the number of cases does not necessarily reflect a new peak of the virus that causes COVID-19, but rather the new methodology.
The experts also considered it a reflection of the chaotic agglomeration of people seeking treatment and of the difficulties to face the accumulation of samples not examined in the province of Hubei and its capital Wuhan, where the disease arose in December.
In Taiwan, a hundred relatives of people stranded in Hubei province demonstrated outside the headquarters of the Continental Affairs Council in Taipei, the capital.
A thousand Taiwanese who hoped to return to the island on charter flights have caused a dispute between their government and that of China.
A flight arrived with 247 people on February 4. Three were not on a list of passengers delivered by Taiwan to the continental authorities and one positive for the virus, the Taiwanese Central News Agency reported.
Japan confirmed seven new cases one day after reporting its first death due to the virus. The confirmed cases total 258, including 218 of the Diamond Princess cruise ship, quarantined and anchored in the port of Yokohama.