(Yicai Global) Feb. 14 -- The Chinese government will implement measures to improve the working conditions and wellbeing of medical staff battling on the frontline against the novel coronavirus, a top health official said.
Authorities should ensure that all medical personnel are allowed adequate rest and sustenance, increase measures to protect and care for them and reduce the chances of in-hospital contagion, Zeng Yixin, deputy head of China's National Health Commission, said today.
The government will also provide psychological counseling to help relieve the pressure on medics. Heavy workloads, limited downtime, great psychological stress and the high risk of infection have all taken their toll.
Some 1,716 healthcare workers were infected with the virus as of Feb. 11, Zeng said. Six doctors and nurses have died of the disease so far, 0.4 percent of all coronavirus-related deaths nationwide.
The number of such staff who have taken ill account for 3.8 percent of all confirmed cases, Zeng said. Of these, 87.5 percent are in Hubei province, amounting to 1,502 cases, 1,102 of which are in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, he said.
All health workers involved with treating the coronavirus will be granted an allowance of between CNY200 (USD28) and CNY300 a day depending on the different risks they face, Assistant Minister of Finance Ou Wenhan said. These personnel will also be given temporary working subsidies.
Those who have contracted the virus in the line of duty or who have died because of it will be granted full medical insurance compensation.
So far the government has spent over CNY25.9 billion (USD3.7 billion) on medical hardware and protective gear, Ou added.
Editor: Kim Taylor