Experts working at Leishenshan hospital, built in less than two weeks to fight the coronavirus in the city of Wuhan, China, where the covid-19 pandemic emerged, defend the mandatory use of masks as an indispensable measure to curb the spread of the new coronavirus .
"Not using them is stupid," said Wang Xinghuan, director of Zhongnan Hospital and head of Leishenshan Hospital, during a guided tour of journalists at the facility on Saturday.
According to Wang, the use of masks among the population is "a measure of scientific protection" and also serves to prevent health professionals from being infected.
"If they are not used, the pandemic cannot be controlled," he said.
Wang explained that the quarantines imposed to prevent the spread of the virus must be strict, such as the one in force in Wuhan.
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The doctor stressed that "it is necessary that many tests are applied to detect sick and asymptomatic people and define those who have to be isolated outside their homes in order not to infect family members".
In addition, he argued that patients cured of covid-19 should spend two weeks in quarantine after being discharged, just in case.
Viruses may be mutating
Also present at the guided tour, deputy director of Zhongnan hospital and specialist in emergency care, Zhao Yan, said the coronavirus and its symptoms may manifest themselves "differently in the West than in China".
"The loss of smell and taste, for example, has varied in Europe and the United States. This makes us think that the virus is changing. We need cooperation," he said.
Birthplace of the pandemic, Wuhan now has 44 suspected cases of coronavirus infection, according to the latest data released by the National Health Commission of China. Between Friday and Saturday, two people died, bringing the total number of deaths in the city to 2,577.
Wuhan came out of quarantine this week
The virtual absence of new confirmed cases prompted local authorities to lift restrictions on residents on April 8, after an 11-week blockade.
Wuhan was able to reverse the situation, among other factors, thanks to the construction in record time of hospitals like Leishenshan, which started to admit patients on February 8.
The unit has a capacity of about 1,500 beds, but only 14 patients remain there. Signatures, thanks and encouraging messages written to doctors during the worst episodes of the pandemic are still on its walls.
Leishenshan was the second hospital built in a few days in China to combat covid-19. The first was that of Huoshenshan, who, like him, has become a tool of the country's government to show strength against the spread of the coronavirus.
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