This photo taken on Feb. 17, 2020 shows medical staff members working at an exhibition centre converted into a hospital in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province.
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February 18, 2020 2:07 AM EST

A senior doctor at a hospital in the Chinese city of Wuhan died from the novel coronavirus, the latest fatality among medical workers as they rush to save tens of thousands of patients at the epicenter of the outbreak.

Liu Zhiming, the director of Wuhan Wuchang Hospital and an expert in neurosurgery, died Tuesday morning, state media CCTV reported. The fatality follows the death earlier this month of Li Wenliang, a 34-year-old doctor in Wuhan who was sanctioned for attempting to bring the virus to light.

The casualties highlight the risks for health workers on the front lines. More than 1,700 medical workers have been infected by the coronavirus, according to China’s National Health Commission, while at least six have died.

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Most medical staff have been infected in Wuhan and the broader Hubei province, where the virus first emerged in December. A total of more than 1,800 people have died from the epidemic, with some 73,000 infected.

China has mobilized medical workers from across the country to help treat and care patients, as the virus spread and overwhelmed local hospitals. More than 25,000 medical workers, including top-line doctors and nurses from the country’s best hospitals in Beijing and Shanghai, have been dispatched to Hubei as of Feb. 14.

 

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