A 103-year-old Chinese grandmother has made a miracle recovery from the coronavirus following six days of treatment in a Wuhan hospital.

Zhang Guangfen is the oldest coronavirus patient in the world to recover from the illness after she was discharged from hospital earlier this week.

The grandmother was diagnosed with the disease on March 1 in Wuhan and was in a critical condition.

She could barely communicate with medics when she was originally admitted to hospital.


The nurses took turns to spoon-feed the patient and change nappies for her, said a matron, Liao Zhenhui, to local media Chutian Metropolis Daily.

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"The grandmother loved being complimented by the nurses," the matron continued.

"She would smile and nod every time after I told her she looked pretty."

She gradually improved after being given around-the-clock care.

A group of medical workers are seen escorting Zhang out of the hospital yesterday. Photo / Chutian Metropolis Daily
A group of medical workers are seen escorting Zhang out of the hospital yesterday. Photo / Chutian Metropolis Daily

The 103-year-old was then cured within less than a week because "she did not have many underlying health conditions", her doctor Zeng Yulan told the local press.

Another centenarian who was infected after his 101st birthday has also recovered after a week in hospital.

The former patient, known as Dai, was discharged from Wuhan Third Hospital last week.


Dai was seen in a video telling a hazmat-clad medic his age while he was leaving the hospital.

Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Wuhan this week for the first time since the city emerged as the centre of the coronavirus epidemic in January - a major sign that Beijing believes the outbreak is under control.

Top health experts say coronavirus could infect 40-60 per cent of the global population, but only if the virus is not controlled.

Michael Baker, University of Otago professor of public health, told the Herald that was only a forecast number.

"If the pandemic is not controlled or contained in a country, the epidemiology information suggests that it would infect 40–60 per cent of the world's population.

"In most countries of the world now, people are changing behaviours to suppress transmission of the virus, so the reality is that it will be much less than the global estimate, which is based on no controlled efforts."


Five people have been confirmed to have Covid-19 in New Zealand, all of whom are being cared for at home. No new cases have been announced in the past four days.

Dr Samantha Murton, head of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners, told MediaWorks some estimates showed half of all New Zealanders could contract the illness.

"At the moment, what we are sort of looking at is that at least 50 per cent would probably be infected," she said.

"What the measures we are putting in place are trying to do is reduce the extreme nature of that, so we can get a reduced number."

However, infectious diseases expert Dr Siouxsie Wiles said that was the worst-case scenario.

"From the data we have so far, we would expect 80 per cent of those people have mild to moderate symptoms which may mean they're stuck at home for a couple of weeks."


The other 20 per cent of those infected would face a two-to-six-week hospital stay.
Of those, a small number would die, Wiles said.

"So, that's if we did nothing. But it's very clear that we're not going to do nothing."