Xiaogan gears up to fight COVID-19 epidemic in rural areas
Tang Bo

Xiaogan, a city outside Wuhan in Hubei Province, has the second-highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases. All villages within its jurisdiction have become another front line for combating the epidemic.

Chen Aifang, a doctor, working at Longwang village clinic and also chief of the village's CPC branch, is committed to both medical and administrative duties in the battle.

As a doctor, Chen has been checking on and looking after senior villagers who live alone and whose relatives are not around due to quarantine orders since the outbreak. And as the Party chief, she coordinates and arranges entry and exit time for garbage trucks as the village is under lockdown. Persuading some villagers who need to go out therefor cannot take the quarantine anymore, and offering them spiritual comfort are also part of her job.

She calls on her villagers to take responsibility to protect their families and other people by protecting themselves first – part of the national campaign against the new coronavirus.

The municipal government of Xiaogan has dispatched 2,450 working groups to all villages for epidemic control and prevention.

With support from the municipal government, village clinics have managed to conduct proper preliminary screening procedures. Seven designated hospitals and several isolation facilities in Xiaogan have taken over suspected and confirmed cases.

The city's poverty alleviation authority has also contributed to fighting the epidemic.

Cai Guoping, deputy director of Xiaogan's poverty relief office, said that the authority managed to transit over 1,200 poverty alleviation working teams to support epidemic prevention and control. Over 11,000 government officials have been assigned to towns and villages to combat the epidemic.