Coronavirus kills Chinese film director Chang Kai, family
Chang Kai and his family members died after they spent days together in self-quarantine
Chinese film director Chang Kai and some of his family members - father, mother and sister- have become one of the latest high-profile victims in Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, who succumbed to the COVID-19 illness.
Chang Kai, 55, died on February 14 and his parents died over the past couple of weeks, after the family spent days together in self-quarantine, according to the Chinese magazine Caixin's report.
Chang's sister died hours after he did, and his wife is in a serious condition, The Guardian reported.
Death rates in Wuhan and surrounding Hubei provinces have been higher than in the rest of China and beyond, causing many infected people to struggle for hospital beds.
Although the government built new hospitals and converted spaces, like an exhibition centre, into makeshift medical centres, the demand has exceeded far beyond the capacity.
Many have died despite intensive medical care including a whistleblower doctor and the head of a hospital. An environmental activist and his wife are also thought to have been killed by coronavirus, although they were not tested for the disease.
The World Health Organization has said that although the disease would be mild in four of five patients, about 20% will have more severe symptoms.
There are concerns that initial government advice for those with symptoms to stay at home may have exacerbated the toll from the disease, with close confinement leading to whole families being infected.
Chang had nursed his father at home after he fell sick in late January. He took the older man to several hospitals, but could not find a bed, Caixin reported. On 28 January he was the family's first victim but others had already become infected.
Chang's mother died a few days later, then he became seriously ill. The director sent a deathbed message to friends, describing his grief and sending love to his son in London. "Farewell to those I love and to those who loved me!"
Authorities are taking suspected coronavirus patients to quarantine centres, sometimes forcibly.
The home quarantine policy could have caused clusters of cross-household and cross-community infections by allowing serious infections to progress without treatment, Caixin reported, quoting Chen Bo, a professor at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan.
The virus has infected more than 73,000 people and killed 1,875, according to latest data. The vast majority of those cases have been in China, within Hubei province.