China sends 25,633 medics to battle COVID-19 in Hubei


Medical team members leave for Hubei Province at the Haikou Meilan International Airport in Haikou, south China's Hainan Province, Feb. 14, 2020. (Xinhua/Guo Cheng)

WUHAN, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- A total of 217 medical teams with 25,633 medical workers had been sent to central China's Hubei Province to help combat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as of Friday, a senior official with the National Health Commission said Saturday.

"The total number of medical workers has far exceeded that for rescue in the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, and we did it at a much faster speed," Wang Hesheng, deputy head of the commission, said at a video press conference held in Wuhan, capital city of Hubei Province.

Wang, also a member of the standing committee of the Hubei provincial Party committee, noted that the figure excluded medical staff sent by the military.

Three mobile P3 laboratories were also dispatched to the epicenter for epidemic control, Wang said.

Of the medical workers, 20,374 are now working in Wuhan, he added.

Medics in aid made great sacrifices and braved the virus outbreak on the front line, Wang said, expressing respect to the medical workers.

A total of 2,641 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection and 143 deaths were reported Friday on the Chinese mainland.