Video Credit: AsiaWire
This image shows scratches on a nurse’s neck after she and a doctor were reportedly assaulted by a coronavirus patient’s family in Wuhan and exposed to the disease.
Cardiothoracic surgeon Gao Yi and nurse Wang Ping, both with Wuhan Pu’ai Hospital in the central province of Hubei, have been quarantined following the attack on 29th January.
Ms Wang has since shared an image showing bruises and scratches on her neck, with tensions rising among health workers and patients as the pneumonia-like virus spreads to every region in China.
According to reports, the pair were treating an elderly patient who had been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus when the pensioner lost all vital signs at 9:40pm local time.
The patient’s family members reportedly became “extremely emotional” and “yelled” at medical staff to revive the pensioner, who was given CPR.
At 11:30pm, Doctor Gao finally informed the patient’s relatives that the pensioner could not be saved, but the family “refused to accept” the pronouncement, allegedly attacking the medic and duty nurse Ms Wang.
Reports said Doctor Wang was left with multiple soft tissue injuries as well as a broken Achilles tendon, while Ms Wang suffered bruises to her head and neck.
Both were exposed to the hospital’s “infected environment” during the scuffle, and they have since been isolated while being monitored for symptoms.
The deceased patient’s family members were escorted away by police officers some two hours after the incident, with authorities said to have waited outside the facility due to health concerns, reports said.
Later the same day, the Hubei Province Public Security Bureau released a statement condemning attacks on front-line medical workers.
It said assault, and verbally abusing or threatening medical staff would be considered a serious and punishable offence.
Similar medical disputes brought on by deaths and a lack of medicinal stocks have also been reported elsewhere in China.
On 27th January, a male patient presenting a high fever removed his mask and coughed on two nurses at Hubei’s Xiaogan Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital after reportedly learning the medication he required was out of stock.
The death toll of the Wuhan coronavirus has risen to 170 in mainland China, where more than 7,700 are also understood to have been infected.
The World Health Organization is to meet today (30th January) to discuss escalating the status of the virus to a global health emergency.
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