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Global Times

Wuhan doctor's infection ends five-day streak of zero new cases in city

Global Times

By Liu Caiyu Source:Globaltimes.cn Published: 2020/3/24 10:21:20

Hubei Province's hopes for a sixth consecutive day of zero new infections were dashed on Tuesday, with news that a doctor in Wuhan had become the latest case, exposing the risks in local hospital outpatient services.

The doctor works at the Hubei Provincial People's Hospital and may have been infected while working there, the Wuhan Health Commission reported on Tuesday.

As the doctor lives in Wuhan's Wuchang district and had been working in the hospital recently, the health authority said it cannot rule out the possibility of the doctor becoming infected in the hospital.

A source close to the matter revealed to the Global Times that the doctor is from the hospital's department of gastroenterology and had been working in the outpatient department and the buffer zone.

The patient is initially thought to have been infected inside the hospital, and the source of infection is being carefully sought.

On March 22, he went to the fever observation room after suffering fever and headache, where his temperature was found to be 37.8 C. He then tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday. The 29-year-old doctor had been living in a house with his girlfriend and other roommates, who are now under quarantine.

Wuhan and Hubei Province had seen zero newly confirmed cases for five consecutive days as of Monday. No new infections of the novel coronavirus were reported on March 18 in the city, marking a notable first in the city's months-long battle with the deadly virus.

Wuhan virologist Yang Zhanqiu told the Global Times that the case showed that risks in the outpatient department of hospitals in Wuhan still exist, and suggested that hospitals strengthen preventive measures.

At least 40 hospitals in Wuhan have resumed general outpatient services, only admitting non-COVID-19 patients, media reported.

However, Yang believed this single case in the hospital will not lead to community transmission in the city.

The urban areas of Wuhan are still at high risk, according to the latest assessment of the risk level of outbreak in Hubei Province released Sunday.

Hubei and Wuhan were considered the top priorities and critical places in the national epidemic prevention and control drive, and the fact that there have been no new infections in the region is encouraging for the whole nation.

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