Front-line doctor says won’t back down until virus is stamped out

UNTV News   •   February 20, 2020   •   203

Liu Yuliang is one of the thousands of medical workers that have been sent from across the country to coronavirus-hit Hubei province.

He normally works in the pulmonary and acute care department of a hospital in the south-west megacity of Chongqing.

But since January 26, he and his team have been in Xiaogan, a city in Hubei a couple of hours drive away from Wuhan, the virus epicenter. The city, as of Thursday (February 20), has more than 3000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 89 deaths according to official data. That numbers are second only to Wuhan.

Liu starts his day making rounds at Xiaogan’s Dongnan hospital, a facility designated to treat coronavirus cases. After his rounds, Liu rushes off for online medical consultations. As he and his team have been deployed from Chongqing, he is responsible for liaising between his base hospital and local hospitals that need urgent help.

Today, one of the discussions include the use of a medical device that helps patients breathe as one particular case has complications and a comprehensive treatment plan is needed.

Liu and his team also offer medical support to hospitals in counties under Xiaogan city’s jurisdiction and the support extends to mental health.

One county hospital has asked for help with a severely infected patient with mental health issues who is refusing hospital treatment and the doctors fear this person may die if he keeps refusing.

“We have brought two psychiatrists from Chongqing. They not only communicate with our own medics but also help patients. They can come over here to talk to the patient, and offer you some guidance on psychiatric medication,” Liu said.

In addition to treating patients, Liu also helps oversee medical supplies at the hospitals he is seconded to, giving advice on supply management as well as guidance on how to improve the hospital’s isolation area.

“This is not only for protecting our own medical workers. It’s for protecting the local medics as well. We will work together. So having a more standard admission procedure and adequate medical supplies are good for all medical personnel,” Liu said.

Back at the dormitory, Liu tries to make time to speak to his family. His son is at home and his wife is working at the Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan. They work different shits and it’s not always easy to communicate.

Having overcome the SARS epidemic more than a decade ago, Liu is confident he can help beat the virus which has killed more than 2,100 in China as of Thursday (February 20) with 74,000 cases of infection. He doesn’t plan to go home until the virus is stamped out.

This material has been provided exclusively to Reuters by CGTN. COPYRIGHT OWNER: CGTN

China advises foreign diplomats to stop coming to Beijing

UNTV News   •   April 3, 2020

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying

China’s foreign ministry is advising foreign diplomats to stop coming to Beijing, after the country temporarily banned most foreigners from entering to prevent a resurgence of a coronavirus epidemic, a spokeswoman said on Friday (April 3).

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters during a daily briefing that the ministry was aware of confirmed coronavirus cases among foreign diplomats in China.

Mainland China reported 31 new confirmed coronavirus cases, 29 of which were imported from overseas, the country’s National Health Commission said on Friday.

The total number of infections now stands at 81,620 and 3,322 deaths have been reported from mainland China to date. (Reuters)

(Production: Shubing Wang, Irene Wang)

Coronavirus turns Japan business mood negative for first time in 7 years

UNTV News   •   April 3, 2020

Japanese manufacturers turned pessimistic for the first time in seven years in the three months to March, the central bank’s “tankan” survey showed on Wednesday (April 1), as the coronavirus pandemic pushed the economy closer to recession.

Non-manufacturers’ sentiment also worsened to levels not seen in seven years as travel bans, event cancellations and social distancing policies hurt consumption, clouding an already darkening outlook for the economy. The data underscores the challenge Prime Minister Shinzo Abe faces in stopping the pandemic wiping out the benefits his “Abenomics” stimulus policies have brought to the economy.

The headline index measuring big manufacturers’ sentiment worsened to minus 8 in March from zero in December, the survey showed, compared with a median market forecast of minus 10. It was the first time in seven years the big manufacturers’ index turned negative.

The pandemic has hit an economy that had already suffered the fastest contraction in 5-1/2 years in the December quarter due to last year’s sales tax hike and the U.S.-China trade war. (Reuters)

(Production: Kohei Miyazaki, Hideto Sakai, Akiko Okamoto)

Philippines eyes COVID-19 mass testing on April 14

Marje Pelayo   •   April 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The national government is planning to kick start a massive testing for persons suspected with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on April 14.

This is according to the chief implementer of the national action plan against the disease, Secretary Carlito Galvez, during a briefing on Thursday (April 2) at Camp Aguinaldo following certification issued by Research Institute on Tropical Medicine (RITM) for several hospitals to run as COVID-19 testing centers.

“We are also determined to fast track the accreditation of subnational laboratories so we can start the massive testing of PUIs and PUMs,” Galvez said.

“We expect that by April 14, we shall be able to start massive testing,” he added.

Galvez said massive testing is expected to help curb the spread of COVID-19 while noting a slow- down in infection in the recent days.

“If you’ll see the data, the increase of the new cases has been 322, which is lower than the highest cases that we have last few days ago of 538,” Galvez said.

“This is a good sign that we are gaining the battle despite the many tests that we have right now,” he added.

In the next 10 days, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) expects the completion of the conversion of several government establishments into COVID-19 quarantine facilities in Metro Manila including the Rizal Complex, the World Trade Center, the Philippine International Convention Center, and the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

At present, the country has a total of eight Accredited COVID-19 Testing centers:

  • Research Institute for Tropical Medicine
  • Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center
  • San Lazaro Hospital
  • Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center
  • Southern Philippines Medical Center
  • University of the Philippines-National Institute of Health
  • Lung Center of the Philippines
  • Western Visayas Medical Center

The Department of Health (DOH), meanwhile, reported a number of healthcare facilities seeking approval for COVID-19 testing to help identify suspected carriers and immediately address their conditions.

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