Coronavirus doctor drops dead at 27

Wednesday - 05/02/2020 21:43
Local authorities announced the young doctor’s death on social media.Source:Supplied
Local authorities announced the young doctor’s death on social media.Source:Supplied
A young Chinese doctor has died of a heart attack after working for 10 days straight on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak.

A young Chinese doctor has died of a heart attack after working for 10 days straight on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak.

Song Yingjie, a team leader at a local medical clinic in Hunan province, which borders the Hubei province at the centre of the outbreak, had worked non-stop since January 25.

The 27-year-old from Hengshan County was in charge of giving temperature checks on a motorway to drivers and passengers, as well as distributing medical supplies.

Mr Song died in the early hours of Monday after returning to his dorm, the Hengyang city government said on its official social media account on Tuesday.

RELATED: Follow updates on the coronavirus outbreak

It comes as the official death toll from the outbreak rises to 564, after Chinese authorities reported a record 70 new deaths in one day and a further 2987 confirmed cases.

Worldwide there are now more than 28,000 confirmed cases, including 14 in Australia.

Mr Song’s older sister, who is currently stranded in Wuhan where the outbreak started, told a local news outlet her brother was “outstanding” and “thoughtful”, The Daily Mail reports.

“He always helped with housework at home and was regarded highly at work by his boss,’ she said. “His passing is really devastated news to our family.”

His father said, “My daughter is in Wuhan and can’t come back. It’s on lockdown. You asked me if I am worried, of course I am. Then my son worked (as a medic) on the highway. You asked me if I am scared … Now he died, I am heartbroken.”
 

Song Yingjie, 27, died after returning to his dorm on Monday.
Song Yingjie, 27, died after returning to his dorm on Monday.Source:Supplied

 

 
He had been working on a motorway giving temperature checks.
He had been working on a motorway giving temperature checks.
Source:Supplied

 


Chinese health workers have been hailed as heroes as the outbreak overwhelms resources.
Chinese health workers have been hailed as heroes as the outbreak overwhelms resources.Source:Supplied

 

NEWBORN BABY INFECTED

Authorities in China have warned they face a severe shortage of hospital beds and equipment needed to treat a growing number of patients stricken by the new coronavirus, which has spiralled into a global health emergency.

Among the cases reported in China are a newborn baby, diagnosed just 30 hours after being born. Despite authorities building a hospital from scratch and converting public buildings to accommodate thousands of extra patients, there was still a “severe” lack of beds, said Hu Lishan, an official in Wuhan, the quarantined city where the virus first appeared — and where doctors are now overwhelmed with cases.

There was also a shortage of “equipment and materials”, he told reporters, adding that officials were looking to convert other hotels and schools in the city into treatment centres.

A growing number of cities have imposed a range of restrictions far from Hubei, as authorities battle to contain the virus.

Tens of millions of people, from the eastern industrial heartlands to near the northern border with Russia, have been told to stay indoors as authorities battle to curb the outbreak.

Global concerns have risen after the World Health Organisation declared an international health emergency last week.

The WHO called for $US675 million in donations for a plan to fight the novel coronavirus, mainly through investment in countries considered particularly “at risk”.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledged to commit up to $US100 million. New cases emerged abroad, with 10 people testing positive for the virus on a cruise ship quarantined off the coast of Japan with thousands on board.

Also in Japan, the chief executive of the Tokyo Olympics set for later this year admitted organisers were “extremely worried” about how the virus could affect the Summer Games, but the International Olympic Committee urged calm.

Italy announced that passengers from every international flight would be scanned for fevers, while Vietnam joined a growing list of countries banning arrivals from China.

Hong Kong, which reported its first coronavirus death this week, said anyone arriving from the mainland would face a mandatory two-week quarantine from Saturday.
 

A woman shops at an Alibaba supermarket in Hangzhou. Picture: Noel Celis/AFP
A woman shops at an Alibaba supermarket in Hangzhou. Picture: Noel Celis/AFPSource:AFP

 

‘DON’T GO OUT!’

In the city of Hangzhou, some 175km southwest of Shanghai, fences blocked streets near the headquarters of Chinese tech giant Alibaba — one of the world’s most valuable companies — as a fighter jet circled overhead.

The building appeared to be shut down, while deliverymen moved in and out of nearby fenced-in residential areas to drop off groceries.

The firm is based in one of three Hangzhou districts subject to new restrictions that allow only one person per household to go outside every two days to buy necessities.

“Please don’t go out. Don’t go out. Don’t go out!” blared a message on a loudspeaker urging people to wear masks, wash their hands regularly and report any people who are from Hubei — reflecting a common fear that people from the province might infect others.

At least three other cities in Zhejiang province — Taizhou, Wenzhou and parts of Ningbo — have imposed the same measures, affecting 18 million people.

In the central city of Zhumadian, authorities said one person would be allowed to leave each household only every five days.

Residents of the city of seven million were also offered cash rewards for informing on people who came from neighbouring Hubei province.

Authorities in Beijing said restaurants could no longer accept reservations for parties from Wednesday.
 

People on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan have the virus. Picture: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP
People on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan have the virus. Picture: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFPSource:AFP

 

JITTERS

The disease is believed to have emerged in December in a Wuhan market that sold wild animals and spread rapidly as people travelled for the Lunar New Year holiday in January.

The Ministry of Public Security said “political security” was the “top priority” in confronting the epidemic.

The statement came days after the top leadership admitted “shortcomings” in its handling of the outbreak — local authorities in Hubei have been criticised for initially downplaying the situation.

The death toll has steadily increased, but officials have noted that the death rate, at about 2 per cent, is well below the mortality rate of SARS, which killed some 800 people in 2002-2003.

Two fatalities have been reported outside the mainland, in Hong Kong and the Philippines.

Several governments have imposed travel restrictions while major airlines have suspended flights to and from China.

Thousands of Chinese tourists risked being stranded in Bali after the Indonesian government suspended flights to and from mainland China.

China has reacted angrily against travel bans, noting that the WHO does not advise imposing them.

It has accused the US of spreading “panic” in its response to the coronavirus, including its ban on Chinese travellers, and on Wednesday, it took another swipe at Washington.

“Panic is more deadly and contagious than any virus,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a press briefing.

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 Keywords: China

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