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Warriors in White
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  • Medical staff of Sanmenxia Hospital, Henan Province in central China make a pledge before departing for Hubei Province in central China on February 15
  • A nurse (center) says goodbye to her parents on February 15
  • Staff members check the medical supplies on February 15
  • Medical staff bid farewell to their colleagues before departing for the frontline on February 15
  • Colleagues look at marks on a medical worker’s face after a day’s work in a hotel in Wuhan, Hubei, on February 18
  • Shi Lei (central) and his colleagues at a makeshift hospital in Wuhan on February 17 (photo taken by a mobile phone sealed in a protective case)

At the entrance square of a hospital in Henan Province, central China, a group of medical staff raised their hands and pledged to win the battle against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) before setting out for the epicenter of Hubei Province in central China. 

“We will show utmost respect for life, heal the wounded and rescue the dying and strive to achieve our mission,” a group of 23 medical staff from Sanmenxi Hospital, affiliated to Power Construction Corporation of China, a state-owned construction group, vowed to aid the forefront. They were among a 100-person team chosen by Henan from three cities. 

At the end of January, the hospital received the assignment to organize a medical team to aid Hubei. Within two hours after the news broke, nearly 1,000 staffers volunteered to join and put finger prints on their written requests to be part of the group.  

February 15 is memorable for both the medical workers and their families, as it is when the warriors in white embarked on their journey. Among them is a doctor named Shi Lei, who wrote down his experience on the first day in a makeshift hospital in Wuhan on February 17, the day after they received a one-day training. 

He said it was the first time for him to wear paper diaper since it’s inconvenient and a waste of protective suits to go to the bathroom. After eating a bowl of instant noodles, without drinking its soup, Shi started his work since 8 a.m.  

“The fog on the goggles blocked my sight, as if I had cataract,” he said. Every two doctors were in charge of 100 patients and it took them two and a half hours to check the condition of patients and make records. They finished their shift at 2 p.m. but arrived at their hotel only at around 5 p.m., due to a strict disinfection process.  

“After we went back to the hotel, my colleague put the hot lunch box at my door, and not long after I finished my lunch, the dinner came, so I ate two boxes of meals in total,” Shi said. 

 (Photo courtesy of Power Construction Corporation of China) 

Copyedited by Madhusudan Chaubey 

Comments to zhangshsh@bjreview.com  

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