Coronavirus Kills Hospital Director

Study finds that most cases are mild
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2020 5:01 AM CST
Coronavirus Kills Hospital Director
Residents wearing masks wait at a traffic light in Beijing, China Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020.   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

A hospital director on the front line of the fight against the coronavirus outbreak in China has become one of its latest victims. Chinese authorities say 51-year-old neurosurgeon Liu Zhiming, director of the Wuchang Hospital in Wuhan died Tuesday morning, the New York Times reports. He was one of the most senior medical workers in the city. "From the start of the outbreak, Comrade Liu Zhiming, without regard to his personal safety, led the medical staff of Wuchang Hospital" in the fight against the epidemic and made "significant contributions," the city's health commission said. More:

  • Study says most cases are mild. More than 80% of the coronavirus cases confirmed in China have been mild, according to a new study from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Some 13.8% were classed as severe and only 4.7% were considered critical. The study, which analyzed 44,672 confirmed cases, found that the death rate is closely linked to age, the BBC reports. Some 15% of COVID-19 patients over 80 died, while the rate was less than 1% among those 40 to 49. The study found that more than 3,000 health workers in China have been infected. The overall fatality rate was 2.3%—2.8% among men and 1.7% for women.

  • Infected "rounded up." According to state media, house-to-house checks are being carried out in Wuhan to "round up" all infected patients, the Guardian reports. Factory buildings are being converted to quarantine centers for people with mild symptoms.
  • More cases confirmed. China reported another 98 deaths on Tuesday, bringing the total to 1,868. China reported more than 1,800 new infections and Japan reported 88 more on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, bringing the total to 542.
  • Economic fallout. South Korean President Moon Jae-in warned Tuesday that the outbreak in China has created an "emergency situation" for the country's economy, the AP reports. "The current situation is much worse than we had thought,” Moon said. "If the Chinese economic situation aggravates, we will be one of the hardest-hit countries." Analysts warn that other countries in the region will also be hit hard, with the outbreak expected to push Japan into recession.
  • Evacuees taken to Omaha. At least 13 patients who tested positive for coronavirus or are suspected of being infected are now at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. One of them is in a biocontainment unit. The patients were among more than 300 Americans on the Diamond Princess who arrived back in the US on two flights Monday. "I am being tended to by two nurses in full hazmat suits and the doctor who visited me was also in a hazmat suit," Carl Goldman tells CNN. "My wife and I are in separate wings of this facility and we're talking to each other via FaceTime." He says he has tested positive for COVID-19, but his wife has not.
  • Film director dies in outbreak. Deadline reports that film director and executive Chang Kai, 55, died Saturday after becoming ill with the virus. His father, mother, and sister have also died in the outbreak.
(Read more coronavirus stories.)

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