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Volunteers on the Frontline
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  • Peng Wenbin makes a phone call to coordinate delivery of medical materials on February 11 in Wuhan
  • Volunteers deliver masks and protective suits to a makeshift hospital in Hongshan District, Wuhan, on February 11
  • Volunteers from Wuhan University help transfer the materials in Wuhan on February 12
  • A hairdresser from a private company in Wuhan volunteers to cut hair for medical workers on February 23
  • A hairdresser from a private company in Wuhan volunteers to cut hair for medical workers on February 23
  • A volunteer helps a recovered patient take luggage at an isolation point in Wuhan on March 1
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On the morning of March 3, Peng Wenbin led a group of volunteers to deliver protective materials to several makeshift hospitals and isolation points as usual. The materials, including N95 masks, hand disinfectants, medical headgears and shoe covers, were donated by caring people from the community. 

Peng is the president of a diving company in Wuhan, Hubei Province in central China. During the past one month, Peng and his colleagues have worked day and night to collect and deliver the materials despite the risk of being infected, which has made them an indispensable part of the frontline fighters in the battle against the epidemic.  

After the outbreak, Wuhan experienced a shortage of medical materials. Peng personally donated more than 200,000 yuan ($28,752) to purchase masks and protective suits from outside the province. The materials were given to several hospitals and medical institutions including the Hongshan Chinese Medicine Hospital and a health service center in Hongshan District, Wuhan. Inspired by Peng, his colleagues joined him one after another and also encouraged their friends and 32 private companies to donate materials.  

Since Wuhan is under lockdown, vehicles are banned from moving in and out of the city. Peng offered a venue and his company’s cars to store and deliver the materials to the frontline doctors and nurses. If the vehicles were not enough, he would rent large trucks himself.  

They would work overtime for 10 consecutive hours and had no time to have lunch. In the morning they would be in one place, and at night miles away in another. If the materials were stuck on the highway, they would drive over a hundred miles to bring them to Wuhan.  

On rainy days, they off-loaded dozens of kilograms of disinfectants one by one from the trucks, without a word of complaint. “We would spare no efforts to help whenever Wuhan needed,” they said.  

Volunteer teams like Peng’s are too numerous to mention. They have played active roles in hospitals, isolation points, streets, communities and supermarkets, jointly forming a force of frontline fighters.  

Photo courtesy of Hubei Daily  

Copyedited by Madhusudan Chaubey  

Comments to zhangshsh@bjreview.com  

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