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Hospital staff in Wuhan are wearing adult diapers because they don’t have time to use the bathroom in between treating coronavirus patients, The Washington Post reported.
The city, which has about 11 million residents, went under an unprecedented quarantine on Thursday local time amid the novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, outbreak. The lockdown has resulted in local hospitals being overwhelmed with patients seeking treatment in the city.
Photos and videos circulating on social media show people packed into small hallways and doctors treating patients sitting on the floor.
I’ll be tweeting from Wuhan Friday. And please remember we have a large team keeping you up to date on the virus outbreak here at the Times’ live briefing. A special shout out to our researchers working when they should be on holiday https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/24/world/asia/china-coronavirus.html …
Chen Yanming, who said her father was suspected of contracting the coronavirus, told me she was calm but melancholy and anxious as Lunar New Year came. “Today should be Chinese people’s happiest day, but this sickness has destroyed that feeling.”
The Post reported that medical staff are also wearing diapers so they don’t have to take off their hazmat suits in case they rip it and can’t get a new one due to lack of supplies.
Along with the shortage of hazmat suits, hospitals are also experiencing a low supply of other protective gear, such as surgical masks and protective goggles, according to ThePaper.com, a Chinese news site, citied by The Post.
“We know that the protective suit we wear could be the last one we have, and we can’t afford to waste anything,” a Wuhan Union Hospital doctor wrote on Weibo.
The abundance of patients and overwhelming work has been taking a mental toll on medical staff in the city, as doctors worry of contracting the disease themselves.
Beijing-based therapist Candice Qin told The Post that she talked to a doctor who was infected by a patient, saying the doctor was “devastated.” Qin added that the doctor isolated herself in her apartment without telling her parents, feeling a “sense of helplessness and loneliness.”
“I think it is a strain for every doctor and every nurse in Wuhan, both physically and mentally,” Qin told The Post. “We know that patients are worried, but we should bear in mind that doctors are just as human as well.”