Wednesday, February 26, 2020

In Coronavirus Stricken Wuhan, Patient Distress

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On February 2, Xie Hanhua, 58, was sent to quarantine at a hotel in Wuhan. "No loved one was able to accompany her, there was no doctor, no nurse to take care of her, and the food was awful", says his big sister. Xie Hanhua fell ill on the eve of the Lunar New Year on January 24, the day after the city was quarantined. She had participated in several end-of-year meals with colleagues.

His condition worsened in the following days. Like thousands of locals, she went to the emergency room: a chest X-ray revealed symptoms of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (the name now used by experts). However, he was not tested in the laboratory for lack of sufficient capacity. His case will therefore remain "suspect". She will have no bed in the hospital, only forty without medical assistance. “We have all tried to mobilize our relationships, but, at the moment, it no longer works. Quickly, her symptoms got worse ”, laments his sister.

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Faced with the explosion in the number of cases of Covid-19 (name given to the disease), Hubei, the province of which Wuhan is the capital, adopted a radical tactic summarized by the slogan: "Embark all those who must be embarked, do not leave anyone behind", according to the official media. On Monday February 10, during a trip to the streets of Beijing to inspect the containment measures, Chinese President Xi Jinping called to take "Stronger and decisive measures to resolutely stop contagion".

Freezing testimonials

On the ground, this impetus has resulted in a policy of systematic quarantine of anyone with symptoms of the disease, sometimes by force, when patients refuse to be separated from their families.

In parallel with the flash construction of two hospitals with a capacity of 2,600 beds, the city of Wuhan has increased the places of isolation, more or less medical. Gymnasiums, exhibition centers, hotels or schools have been transformed into reception centers. In all, more than 10,000 beds in care centers have been created, and an additional 12,500 places for isolation without medical needs.

At the same time, more than 10,000 health professionals came to help caregivers in Wuhan. But these reinforcements are not enough: Friday, February 14, Hubei counted 51 986 cases, on 63 851 cases in the whole country. According to the national health commission, 1,716 health professionals have been infected since the start of the crisis, and six have died.

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