Vlog: How a community health center in Wuhan is fighting the virus
Updated 14:00, 05-Feb-2020
Huang Yichang

Since Monday, Wuhan residents with coronavirus symptoms have been required to visit their designated community health center before they can be transferred to large hospitals. After initial checkups, patients who are suspected of carrying the virus will be transported to designated hospitals for further diagnosis and treatment.

Shouyi Huimin Health Center is one of 200 community health centers in Wuhan providing health coverage for around 70,000 local residents.

Located in an old residential area in the city center, its front yard was packed with bicycles with people wearing pajamas coming in and out on a normal day.

However, the atmosphere has changed ever since the coronavirus broke out.

Around 80 patients are sent to the health center day and night – most of them wanting to see if they've contracted the novel coronavirus. Medical staff coming in and out wear hazmat suits and only sleep a few hours per day. The general practice consultation rooms are now functioning as fever consultation rooms.

More than half of the 100 confirmed cases in the Shouyi neighborhood came here for an initial diagnosis before transferring to big hospitals, according to Yu Minyi, the dean of Huimin Health Center.

The medical team here faces a big challenge. Not only are they providing healthcare and treatment, they also offer home medical services for those who are isolated at home, some of whom are suspected coronavirus cases.

The fight against the outbreak is tough, and it's the first time many of the medical staff have experienced such a huge public health crisis. "But as doctors, we feel proud, as we think it's worth it," Zhang Zhiyin, a general physician at Huimin Health Center, told us.

"In terms of triage, community health centers are indispensable. Disorderly hospitalization in the early stages resulted in congestion in all the large hospitals. It is largely the result of poor triage," Zhang said.

Although it is just a community-level health center, Huimin is shouldering the responsibility of fighting the coronavirus.

(Zheng Yuqiong, Zhong Jianli and Wang Yulian also contributed to the story.)