More medical workers from around the country have been sent to Central China's Hubei province to help control the novel coronavirus epidemic.
Doctors from Beijing cheer each other's spirits before entering quarantine units for severe patients at Tongji Hospital affiliated with Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, Hubei province on Feb 3. (Photo: China Daily)
Guo Yanhong, a National Health Commission official, said there was a great need for medical workers with intensive care expertise in Wuhan because local staff were exhausted after working long hours since the beginning of the outbreak.
The commission had sent more than 3,000 doctors and nurses trained in intensive care to Wuhan, Hubei's provincial capital, and the country's top medical experts in intensive care were also there, she told a news conference on Friday.
Six top Beijing hospitals sent 664 medical workers to Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, on Friday.
The teams, led by hospital presidents, were from Peking University People's Hospital, Peking University First Hospital, Peking University Third Hospital, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Beijing Hospital, and China-Japan Friendship Hospital.
Peking University People's Hospital sent a first batch of 20 medical workers to Wuhan on Jan 26, with four medical experts sent on Feb 1 and 110 medical workers dispatched on Friday. Jiang Baoguo, the hospital's president, said saving people in critical condition had become an urgent task in epidemic control and the hospital would put its strength in intensive care into full play.
Zhang Liu, a doctor at the hospital who was sent to Wuhan on Jan 26, said he signed up for the medical team as soon as he heard about it, even though his son was only 7 months old.
"My hometown is in Hubei province and I graduated from Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, so I have a special feeling about Wuhan," he said.
"My wife also works at the hospital and we agreed on this decision without much discussion."
First Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University in Shaanxi province sent 133 medical workers to Wuhan on Friday. It has sent 153 medical workers, in four batches, since the outbreak began.
Ma Xinge, the hospital's Party secretary, said it had received more than 2,900 applications to join the medical team in Wuhan since issuing a notice seeking members on Thursday.
"I hope all of you will pay attention to personal safety, save more patients and return home soon," he said.
Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday that a variety of measures should be adopted to increase the number of hospital beds and medical staff in Hubei province.
A total of 107 medical teams consisting of 10,596 medical workers had been sent to Hubei from 29 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, as well as the People's Liberation Army, by 8 pm on Wednesday, with 9,061 of them dispatched to Wuhan, Yang Yunyan, vice-governor of Hubei, told a news conference late on Thursday.
Yang estimated at least another 2,250 medical practitioners are needed, especially those from respiratory, critical care and infectious disease departments.
On Friday, the Civil Aviation Administration of China organized for 13 civil flights to send nearly 2,000 medical staff members and some medical supplies to Wuhan, China Central Television reported.