Beijing will deploy another 1,600 medical professionals to Wuhan today and tomorrow to help the city cope with the growing number of coronavirus patients, Chinese Health Minister Ma Xiaowei said in a rare Sunday news conference.
Another 1,000 workers are on standby, Ma said.
Authorities acknowledged that Wuhan, a city 11 million people and ground zero of the outbreak, and much of Hubei province are facing manpower and medical supply shortages.
Healthcare workers in Wuhan, including four who spoke to CNN on the phone, have complained of being overstretched and lacking resources to combat the crisis.
“In terms of resources, the whole of Wuhan is lacking,” one Wuhan-based healthcare worker told CNN by phone. The person said they were looking for more protective clothing, protective goggles and masks.
At the news conference Sunday, Wang Jiangping, the vice minister of of industry and information technology, said Hubei needs about 100,000 protective medical suits per day — but the 40 factories across the country making them only produce 30,000 daily.
Wang said authorities are now trying to get factories to resume production — most would have closed for the Lunar New Year holiday — and requisition factories that make the suits for export.