February 6, 2020 / 1:54 PM / 12 days ago

China's virus-hit Hubei short of medical workers

BEIJING (Reuters) - The Chinese province of Hubei, epicentre of an outbreak of the new coronavirus, still has a large shortage of medical staff, its vice governor said on Thursday.

Yang Yunyan told a news conference carried live on state television that virus testing kit numbers were sufficient, but there were not enough staff to take samples and tests.

“The prevention and control of the epidemic has entered a crucial stage, but there’s still a relatively large shortage of medical staff,” Yang said.

“We’ve received requests from 9 cities and counties on getting more medical staff. The preliminary estimate is a shortage of 2,250. This is just an optimistic estimate of mine.”

Hubei, whose capital Wuhan is where the first cases of the outbreak were reported late last year, has had the vast majority of the 563 deaths to date. The country has more than 28,000 confirmed infections.

Reporting by Beijing newsroom; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne

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