A hospital director in Wuhan city, the epicenter of the health emergency in China, succumbed to the coronavirus, becoming the latest fatality among medical workers in the country.
Liu Zhiming, director of Wuhan Wuchang Hospital, died of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, on Tuesday morning, Feb. 18, The Associated Press citing the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission reported.
A notice from the commission said Liu took part in the battle against the deadly virus from the start and made “important contributions in the work of fighting and controlling novel coronavirus.”
During that process, “unfortunately he became infected and passed away at 10:54 Tuesday morning at the age of 51 after all-out efforts to save him failed,” the notice said.
Liu’s death highlights the risks for Chinese health workers on the front lines. On Feb. 7, Dr. Li Wenliang died in Wuhan at the age of 34. He was sanctioned by Chinese authorities after attempting to warn the public about coronavirus outbreak in late 2019.
On Feb. 10, professor Dr. Lin Zhengbin, a renowned transplant surgeon, also died from COVID-19.
According to China’s National Health Commission, more than 1,700 medical workers have been infected by the coronavirus and at least six have died. Most medical staffs have been infected in Wuhan and the broader Hubei Province.
China authorities have dispatched more than 25,000 medical workers to Hubei as of Feb. 14.
The country reported 1,886 new cases and 98 new deaths in its update on Tuesday, Feb. 17, bringing the total confirmed cases to 72,436 and the death toll to 1,868.