Hubei province, the centre of the novel coronavirus outbreak, has seen a continuous decline in new daily infections in areas outside its capital, Wuhan － proving the effectiveness of the prevention and control measures that have been taken.
The situation in these areas, however, remains grim because of the shortage of medical workers and supplies, officials said.
Huanggang, one of the hardest hit cities in the province, only registered single-digit growth in the number of cases on Saturday and Sunday. The city also lowered its number of cases after doctors’ diagnoses for some patients were found to be wrong on Monday, bringing down total infections in the city to 2,828.
The city, however, is confronting “critical shortages” of medical supplies and medics, the city’s publicity authority told China Daily.
As of Thursday, 987 medical workers from Shandong and Hunan provinces have been dispatched to the city to enhance its medical capability. However, more medical workers are still urgently needed in counties and towns.
Despite a spike on Thursday, the number of daily new cases in Xiaogan has been declining as well. Including the latest daily increase of 41 on Monday, total infections in the city now stand at 3,320, second only to Wuhan in the province.
“Thanks to the efforts from the provincial government, donors and our purchasing, the shortage of medical supplies has been relieved to some extent. Now the supply and demand is barely keeping even,” the Xiaogan city authority said.
Huanggang and Xiaogan have both imposed a lockdown on all residential communities, with only people engaged in epidemic control and those in businesses related to people’s livelihood exempted.
Huangshi, another city in the province, has also seen an increasingly encouraging situation.
“The city has seen its daily increase of new infections kept below 40 for five straight days from a peak of 104,” following a series of prevention and control measures, said Mayor Wu Jin at a news conference on Monday.
A total of 5,630 rooms have been transformed and used for quarantine in the city. Over 92 per cent of the 1,822 people under medical observation have been isolated in designated zones, the mayor said.
However, while the recovery rate in the city has reached almost 21 per cent, the proportion of patients in serious and critical condition is rising and has reached almost 13 per cent, he added.
With supply and demand of medical supplies barely even, “the situation remains grim,” he said.
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