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China Says 1,700 Health Workers Have Contracted Coronavirus

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Six of the workers have died, the government said on Friday. It was the first time officials have disclosed the number. China reports 5,090 new coronavirus cases and 121 new deaths in the past 24 hours.

For more than a month, medical workers in Hubei, the province at the center of the coronavirus outbreak, have been working nearly nonstop even as they struggled with a shortage of personal protective equipment such as masks, gowns and safety goggles.

For the first time on Friday, China disclosed figures that drive home the risks faced by those on the front line: 1,716 medical workers have contracted the virus and six of them have died. Of those people, 1,502 were in Hubei Province, with 1,102 of them in Wuhan, the provincial capital and the center of the outbreak.

The announcement was the first official confirmation about the number of infected medical workers, and is likely to ratchet up fears about the spread of the virus.

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