Patients infected with the novel coronavirus are seen at a makeshift hospital converted from an exhibition center in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, Feb. 5, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)
Rumors that makeshift hospitals in Wuhan maltreated confirmed mild patients of coronavirus have been denied, as more photos are uploaded online.
Experts and officials on Friday also addressed online concerns that such hospitals will cause cross-infection, explaining the measure actually helps control the epidemic by preventing mild patients from infecting family members during residential quarantine.
The rumor started on Thursday when a net user who claimed to be a patient at Wuhan International Conference and Exhibition Center, one of the makeshift hospitals at the outbreak epicenter, posted photos on Sina Weibo, complaining the breakfast was buns and an egg and the lunch was of similar quality.
The post immediately attracted wide attention, with some doubting whether makeshift hospitals could provide proper care and treatment for the patients.
But the post was later rebutted by more photos which showed the patients' breakfast containing fruits, sausages and stuffed buns while the lunch box offers three types of cuisine and rice.
Internet users condemned the original post, which may threaten confirmed patients from being willing to receive treatment at these hospitals.
Wuhan has made makeshift hospitals from stadiums and exhibition centers to ease the severe bed shortage. But the beds at these makeshift hospitals were not isolated from each other, sparking concerns over cross-infection.
Yang Zhanqiu, deputy director of the pathogen biology department at Wuhan University, told the Global Times that as the patients were confirmed cases, cross-infection of the novel coronavirus is non-existent.
China's National Health Commission said that patients will be tested to exclude other respiratory and infectious diseases such as flu before being accepted to the makeshift hospitals.
Hospitalizing mild patients will help control the epidemic as these people may have to commute between hospitals and home to accept treatment due to a bed shortage, posing infection risks to their contacts, typically family members, Yang explained on Friday.
An urgent task at the moment is to detect people with little or no symptoms, as they are "invisible infection sources," Yang said.
Wang Chen, president of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, noted such arrangement is not the best, but the most practical method, which enables a small number of doctors and nurses to conveniently care for the patients and monitor their situation.
Patients will be transferred to designated hospitals if their situation worsens, Wang told the national broadcaster.