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Chongqing Epidemic Workers and Society Pull Together Day and Night

By JAMES ALEXANDERICHONGQING|Nov 20,2022

Chongqing– In the past week, the number of cases reported daily in Chongqing Municipality have numbered in the thousands, and much of the urban area remains under static management. This has created many logistical challenges, such as providing necessities for residents, access to medical treatment, online education for children, and the enormous quantity of nucleic acid testing required citywide.

However, the dedication of public officials, workers, and volunteers has ensured the epidemic response proceeded smoothly, and the needs of residents were widely met. The paragraphs below invite readers to share the experience of fighting to control the recent outbreak continues.

Dispatch office becomes home for transport worker

Chen Xiuhua

Chen Xiuhua has made the dispatch office for public buses home for the past week (Photograph/ Upstream News)

People might not realize that many public bus routes are still operating during the Chongqing outbreak, and route 604, managed by Chen Xiuhua, is one such example.

Chen has already slept inside the dispatch office for seven consecutive nights. While many shift leaders for Chongqing Transportation Development and Investment Group in the Panxi Area must work from home, the staff need to coordinate operations on the scene to coordinate the buses in service throughout the day.

These past few days, Chen has assumed the multiple roles of administrator, clerk, and logistics officer. Inside the impeccably tidy workspace, he keeps possession of business stamps, documentation, and keys, handles photocopies and travel permit issuance, and takes care of food supplies and vehicle maintenance. ‘The dispatch office has become my home, and I naturally have to do the chores myself, too.’ Chen explains.

Grid member works 17-hour days

Liu Guiqi

Each busy day starts at 5 am for Grid Worker Liu Guiqi during the recent outbreak (Photograph/ Upstream News)

Seven years have passed in a flash since Liu Qigui became a community grid member in 2015. She has a work log and resident ledger detailing the 494 households she is responsible for.

Liu is constantly on the move and receives the order to wear protective clothing, assume the role of information registrar for nucleic acid test sampling, and train new volunteers standing on a podium. Naturally, she is well-occupied, as people ask her for exit slips, big data requests, and various errands.

Some tasks require precise timing, such as taking advantage of a half-hour gap to purchase supplies for residents with mobility issues. When she sits back down, another resident asks for help installing a gas stove at home. With so many requests, Liu has to jot them down one by one.

Each day begins at 5 am, and Liu will remain busy until 10 pm. When she can’t go home, she sleeps overnight at her workplace and continues work the next morning. This routine has become the norm for many community workers during the outbreak.

The neighborhood secretary lives in her local community

Chen Nina

Chen Nina continues epidemic work despite physical exhaustion (Photograph/ Upstream News)

Chen Nina is the party secretary of the Shixiaolu Community in Jiulongpo District and has assumed the burdensome role of assuring the delivery of supplies in the local area, where she has lived for more than a week, and her phone is turned on 24 hours a day.

Chen Nina frequently picks up her mobile phone and greets callers with familiar aplomb. Her voice has become hoarse, and residents are concerned about seeing her bloodshot eyes. Despite their pleas for her to rest, Secretary Chen has no time for this while the ongoing epidemic continues to fulfill her daily workload.

‘Positive chasers’ test 14529 mixed sample cases

Yang Yun

Yang Yun and her fellow ‘positive chasers’ sleep in a makeshift dormitory at work (Photograph/ Upstream News)

Besides residents and community workers, the sight of ‘positive chasers’ has become ubiquitous. The plastic bags they carry weigh up to 5 kilograms and contain their myriad of special equipment, much like a treasure chest.

Yang Yun is one such chaser from a dedicated team in the Longshan Neighbourhood of Yubei District. Her job can be seen as a race against time, as the sooner risks are detected, the fewer chance infections can spread further.

Since the beginning of November, Yang and her colleagues have lived inside a makeshift dormitory converted from a work office. They are on standby 24 hours a day and sleep for only 3-4 hours each night.

Early in the morning, they wear protective clothing and go door to door with their’ treasure box’ to conduct nucleic acid tests on residents whose mixed samples turned a positive result.

As of November 15th, her team of positive chasers has dealt with individuals related to 1,061 mixed sample tubes, involving 14,529 people.

University students volunteer on the frontline

Chongqing University

Thousands of university students in Chongqing applied to become epidemic volunteers (Photograph/ Upstream News)

A special departure ceremony was held at the Yuanjiagang Campus of Chongqing Medical University on November 12th, from where volunteers composed of more than 1,000 teachers and students were dispatched to various fronts against the outbreak in Chongqing.

A few days later, Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications students also set out for the frontline. They had responded to an emergency recruitment order and were lucky to be selected from more than 1,200 people who signed up online.

Present and former police officers work in tandem

Chongqing Policemen

Veteran and current policemen Li Qing and Jia Dingpeng have worked together in the Lanxi Community for over a week (Photograph/ Upstream News)

Li Qing is a 58-year-old veteran policeman from Cuntan Police Station in Jiangbei District. Despite his impending retirement, he has enthusiastically joined the cause of epidemic prevention and control with his successor Jia Dingpeng.

The nearby Lanxi Community has an open layout with many outsiders who frequently come and go, exacerbating the epidemic. As a result, Li Qing decided to return due to his familiarity with the location. Now, the former and current police officers in charge have worked in tandem for more than a week, almost as if they were connected through time and space.

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