China's island province Hainan suspends all dental clinics to avoid coronavirus risks
The Hainan provincial health commission has suspended all stomatology departments and dental clinics to prevent risks amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Hospitals and clinics will only retain necessary dentofacial surgery staff to deal with emergency situations such as wounds and infections, the commission said in a notice. Other diagnoses and treatments have all been suspended.
The commission said that patients and dentists have close face-to-face contact. If a patient were to conceal an infection or were in the incubation period, it would greatly increase the risk of contagion.
It is difficult to effectively prevent the spreading of the virus with the current level of protection for dental clinics and departments, it said.
As of 8am Friday, 50 people have been infected with the novel coronavirus in Hainan, and eight of them are in critical condition, according to figures on the commission website. The island province has reported one death from the virus infection.