Public/Global Health

Chinese premier promises reinforcements amid accusations of not responding to virus fast enough

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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang promised reinforcements to Wuhan and the Hubei province as the local government faces accusations that it has not responded to the outbreak of a new coronavirus fast enough, according to a Reuters report.

Li on Monday announced that 2,500 more medical workers will arrive in the area in the next two days, Reuters reported. He said he will “inspect and direct” methods to control the virus in Wuhan and thanked the medical workers in the city, as the number of deaths in China due to the virus rose to 81.

“He required efforts to guarantee medical resources supply, race against time to treat patients and ensure adequate market supply and stable prices,” the Xinhua news agency said, according to Reuters. 

The premier is the most senior official of the country to visit the city that’s been devastated by the virus. He also made an appearance at a hospital being constructed in the city that is expected to be ready in a few days.

Local officials have faced criticism on Chinese social media, which is highly regulated. Wuhan Mayor Zhou Xianwang, who has offered to resign, has said that the city’s response was “not good enough.” The city is currently on lockdown with a travel ban in place.

As the number of cases in China increased to 2,835, the virus has spread to more than 10 countries, including a case confirmed in Cambodia on Monday and five cases in the U.S., with the large majority of patients either having traveled to or coming from China. 

China has extended the Lunar New Year celebration because of the heavy travel associated with the holiday.

National Health Commission Minister Ma Xiaowei said Sunday the incubation period, the time between contraction and when symptoms appear, ranges from one to 14 days, and he said the virus can be infectious in that time. The World Health Organization has predicted the incubation period was between two and 10 days.

Tags China Coronavirus
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