Without breaks and food: in what conditions do Chinese doctors fight against coronavirus
The number of patients with the new coronavirus is increasing, but there is little information about the conditions under which it is fought in Chinese hospitals and clinics. Air force.
At the beginning of the epidemic, the Chinese press could write relatively freely and in detail about what was happening. But now publications have begun to be removed from the Internet, the authors of which criticize the authorities' reaction to the appearance of the virus. Authorities even tried to silence Dr. Li Wenlian, who warned of a new virus at the very beginning of the epidemic and who died this week after being infected by one of the patients in Wuhan.
Coronavirus spread in China according to February 7 data:
- January 20: 291 cases
- January 24: 864 cases
- January 27: 2 cases
- January 31: 9 802 cases
- February 3: 17 210 cases
- February 7: 31 198 cases
This epidemic has become the center of world news, but the virus is not as bad as it seems to us. Prior to this, much more deadly coronaviruses spread on the planet.
From January 31 to February 9, 37 cases of Chinese coronavirus infection were confirmed. Of these, 591 were fatal. The infected were recorded in 814 countries of the world. The probability of death is 28%.
For comparison, from the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) for the period 2002-2003, 8 people were affected in 098 countries of the world, and 26 people died. The mortality rate was 774%.
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) from April 2012 to December 2019, 2 people were recorded, taking the lives of 499 of them in 861 countries of the world. The mortality rate was then 27%.
The BBC was able to speak with a nurse working in a hospital in Sanyang, the second largest in Hubei province. She asked not to reveal her full name and to leave only her last name - Yao - in the interview.
Yao says he works at a "temperature clinic" where he does blood tests to diagnose the presence of the new coronavirus.
Before the outbreak, Yao was planning to travel to Guangzhou province to spend the Chinese New Year with her relatives. Her child and mother went there in advance, but when the epidemic started, Yao decided to volunteer in one of Sanyang's hospitals.
“Yes, we have only one life, but I kind of heard a clear voice that said:“ you must stay, ”recalls Yao.
At first, she somewhat doubted the correctness of her decision. “I said to myself, be prepared for anything and take precautions. If there were no protective overalls, I could have put on a raincoat. If it were not for the protective mask, I could ask my friends all over China to send it to me by mail. You can always find a way out. ”
Yao says that to her surprise, the hospital turned out to be good equipment. It was partially sent by the authorities, and the rest was donated by private companies. But the hospital still lacks protective overalls and masks, so not all health workers are properly protected.
“This is a difficult job. It is very sad and morally difficult to do it. But most of the time we just have no time to think about our own safety, ”adds Yao.
“We have to treat patients with care, because many of those who come to us are very scared, some are on the verge of a nervous breakdown,” Yao said in an interview with the BBC.
Due to the influx of patients, doctors have to work 10 hours a day. During work, Yao says, no one can eat, drink, go to the toilet - or just get some rest.
“By the end of our shift, when we take off our protective suits, we can see that all our clothes are soaked through with sweat. Deep marks remain on the face, forehead, nose and neck, as the protective masks are very close to the skin. Sometimes there are even cuts. Many of my colleagues just fall asleep after their shift, sitting on a chair, as they are too tired to go home. "
But despite this, all of Yao's colleagues - and herself - managed to avoid infection. The hospital staff are also helped by warm, grateful letters and messages on the Internet from ordinary people. Some even send food and other necessities to the hospital.
“It seems to me that this virus has united us all - although people are sitting at home in quarantine,” - says Yao.
Yao says that overall, the Chinese authorities quickly responded to the epidemic, and no other country in the world can compare with this.
“In the West, you talk more about freedom and human rights, but here in China it is now about life and death,” she continues. “The question is, will we see the morning of the next day. And people can only help the authorities and medical workers. "
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