- The government is being criticized by many following the death of doctor Li Wenliang.
- China's President Xi Jinping made a rare public appearance on Monday in Beijing to visit hospitals and greet the population.
- The World Health Organization has described the coronavirus as a “very grave threat for the rest of the world.”
Two senior health officials from Hubei province, the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic in China, were fired on Tuesday after being criticized for their management of efforts to contain the spread of the disease, which has so far left more than 1,000 dead. The employees, dismissed by decision of the Party Standing Committee in Hubei, were the director of the provincial Health Commission, Liu Zingzi, and the chief Communist Party leader on the commission, Zhang Jin.
The dismissals have been effected at a time when the government is being criticized by many following the death of doctor Li Wenliang, a 34-year-old ophthalmologist who alerted the authorities about the very first suspected cases of coronavirus. Li was harassed and silenced by the state prior to his death. For now, Wang Hesheng, a former deputy minister of the National Health Commission, will replace the two dismissed employees.
The Chinese government is being criticised strongly by the nation’s citizens owing to the fact that the authorities, in addition to the lack of transparency, took too long to react to the first warnings about the serious disease. The negative repercussions of Li’s death were so great owing to the fact that millions of Chinese took to social media and flooded the internet with criticism of the nation’s Government. To try to get around this crisis, China’s President Xi Jinping made a rare public appearance on Monday in Beijing to visit hospitals and greet the population.
The epidemic of the new coronavirus mutation began to be recorded in December 2019. To date, the virus has so far killed more than 1,000 people, and has infected around 43,000 patients worldwide. This broke the record of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). To try to contain the spread of the virus, China has, amongst other measures, quarantined dozens of cities, stopped public transport services in the most affected regions, and built two hospitals in less than ten days to treat the sick.
WHO: Coronavirus a Serious Threat to World
Elsewhere, the World Health Organization has described the coronavirus as a “very grave threat for the rest of the world.” The sentiments were made by the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, on Tuesday. The WHO boss equally appealed for the sharing of the virus samples and the intensification of research on medicines and vaccines to combat the outbreak.
“With 99% of cases in China, this remains very much an emergency for that country, but one that holds a very grave threat for the rest of the world,” he said in the opening statements of a meeting with more than 400 researchers and national authorities, some participating via video conferencing from mainland China and Taiwan.
The number of deaths from the new coronavirus has risen to 1,016 in China. On Monday, 103 people died in Hubei province, the epicenter of the epidemic, in a new record of fatalities in a single day. Hubei officials have also confirmed new 2,097 cases of those infected. Thus, the total number of patients exceeds 42,000 worldwide. There are 26 countries with confirmed cases of the epidemic, in addition to two semi-autonomous Chinese regions, i.e Hong Kong and Macau.