Speaking to Insight, this doctor reveals why Australians must do all they can to prevent coronavirus.
How are people around the world, and in Australia, coping with the coronavirus pandemic? Covid-19 Around The World, Tuesday March 31 at 8:30pm and on SBS On Demand.
Dr Fan Junping is in Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic. It was there that the viral outbreak began before sweeping through the rest of the world.
Based in Beijing, Dr Fan is one of the thousands of medical workers that flew in to support Wuhan’s overwhelmed medical system. He spoke exclusively to Insight and revealed what life was like on the ground.
“When we first arrived in Wuhan it was tough because we worked in the ICU ward, the patients are so critically ill and they come in one by one,” he says.
“It’s very hard to save them, it’s overwhelming.”
Dr Fan admits both he, and his family, were nervous he would contract the disease while working in Wuhan.
“Later you find yourself working in a very well organised team, and there’s no shortage of protection equipment and also the knowledge of COVID-19 accumulates and so you can get rid of the nerves,” he explains.
Dr Fan says life is slowly improving in Wuhan and the number of new cases is decreasing. The lockdown, which was imposed at the end of January is expected to be lifted on April eight.
“We’re still very alert about the recurrence but right now we’re much more experienced than two months ago so personally I’m quite optimistic,” he says.
As someone who’s seen just what the coronavirus is capable of, Dr Fan warns that Australians must take preventive measures seriously.
“We do not want anyone to underestimate this virus,” he said.
“A lot of focus needs to be put on critically ill patients but that is the last line, the first line is prevention, citizens should adapt self-distancing and practice good personal hygiene to stop it [coronavirus].
“We really want the whole society, including the medical staff, to work together, stick together, the whole world to work in solidarity.”
Dr Fan Junping appears on Insight tonight along with guests from around the world, including an Australian pandemic modeller, as well as families across the globe affected by the spread of the coronavirus. Insight airs at 8.30pm on SBS.
People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others and gatherings are limited to two people unless you are with your family or household.