Doctors treating coronavirus in the crisis-hit city of Wuhan are being rushed off their feet as they attempt to halt the spread of the deadly disease which has already infected thousands

    Medics treating coronavirus victims are wearing adult nappies as they do not have time to use the toilet, it has been claimed.

    Health-care workers are being rushed off their feet as they battle to halt the spread of the deadly disease which has already claimed the lives of 42 people and infected 1,400 others.

    Dramatic video has emerged of the scene at crisis-hit hospitals inside the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the troubling outbreak.

    Exhausted medics have been forced to don hazmat suits as they treat those with the highly-contagious infection, according to local reports.

    But they say the cumbersome gear is too difficult and time-consuming to remove when they need to answer the call of nature.

    Medical workers transfer a patient at an ICU of Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University in Wuhan

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    "We know that the protective suit we wear could be the last one we have, and we can't afford to waste anything," an unnamed Wuhan Union Hospital doctor wrote on Weibo. 

    President Xi Jinping said China was facing a "grave situation" which has overshadowed celebrations of the Lunar New Year that began on Saturday.

    China also announced further transport restrictions.

    A Coronavirus patient is sealed in a platic tube to prevent contamination
    (Image: RFA Chinese/Twitter)

    Security personnel wearing hazardous material suits measure body temperatures in Beijing
    (Image: WU HONG/EPA-EFE/REX)

    With more than 1,400 people infected worldwide, most of them in China, Hong Kong declared a virus emergency, scrapped celebrations and restricted links to mainland China.

    Australia confirmed its first four cases on Saturday, Malaysia confirmed four and France reported Europe's first cases on Friday, as health authorities around the world scrambled to prevent a pandemic.

    The United States is arranging a charter flight on Sunday to bring its citizens and diplomats back from Wuhan, the central Chinese city at the epicentre of the outbreak, the Wall Street Journal reported.

    In Hong Kong, with five confirmed cases, the city's leader Carrie Lam said flights and high speed rail trips between the city and Wuhan will be halted.

    Footage from inside Wuhan hospital shows scale of the panic

    Schools in Hong Kong that are currently on Lunar New Year holidays will remain closed until Feb. 17.

    Xi held a politburo meeting on Saturday on measures to fight the "accelerating" outbreak, state television reported.

    As of 8 p.m. local time (1200 GMT) on Saturday, the death toll in China had risen to 42, authorities reported.

    Some 1,372 people in China had been infected with the virus – traced to a seafood market in Wuhan that was illegally selling wildlife.

    The virus has also been detected in Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Nepal, and the United States.

    In Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, officials appealed for masks and protective suits.

    A member of staff wearing a mask is seen outside the Shanghai Disney Resort
    (Image: REUTERS)

    A health worker checks the temperature of a woman entering a subway station during the Chinese New Year
    (Image: Getty Images)

    "We are steadily pushing forward the disease control and prevention … But right now we are facing an extremely severe public health crisis," Hu Yinghai, deputy director-general of the Civil Affairs Department, told a news briefing.

    The newly identified coronavirus has created alarm because there are still many unknowns surrounding it, such as how dangerous it is and how easily it spreads between people.

    It can cause pneumonia, which has been deadly in some cases.

    Ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing said it was halting inter-city services to and from Beijing from Sunday, while the capital will also stop running inter-province shuttle buses.

    State broadcaster CCTV, citing an announcement from China's tourism industry association, said the country would halt all group tours, both at home and abroad, from Monday.

    Wuhan said it would ban non-essential vehicles from its downtown starting Sunday, further paralysing a city of 11 million that has been on virtual lockdown since Thursday, with nearly all flights cancelled and checkpoints blocking the main roads leading out of town.

    Authorities have since imposed transport restrictions on nearly all of Hubei province, which has a population of 59 million.



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