Hangzhou does its part to battle epidemic
As the Hangzhou government takes forceful measures to detect and contain coronavirus-related pneumonia, local citizens, communities and businesses are also banding together to help overcome the epidemic.
Qi Baoxing, a 69-year-old retired plumber, recently donated 100,000 yuan (US$14,255) to the Jianggan District Charity Federation to help fight the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
“I would feel guilty if I didn’t do something to help medical workers,” Qi said.
On January 30, another man left 100,000 Hong Kong dollars (US$12,875) at the Liuxia Police Station, telling officers to give the money to a hospital. He declined to reveal his name.
The police station finally transferred the money to Hangzhou Xixi Hospital, one of the appointed hospitals treating novel coronavirus pneumonia patients in Hangzhou.
In the Jiubao Residential Community, an anonymous resident gave 1,000 masks to children, seniors and pregnant women. Also at the community, another resident donated 20,000 yuan to help the community with epidemic prevention.
By the end of February 5, Hangzhou has reported a total of 151 cases, and 16 patients have been discharged from hospital upon recovery, the health authorities said.
As of February 2, the Hangzhou Red Cross had received 174 million yuan from citizens, organizations and companies. Details of donations and expenditures are shown publicly every day on its official website and in local newspaper Hangzhou Daily.
In addition to donations, some new services have been initiated in residential communities to help vulnerable people.
At the Zhalongkou Residential Community, seniors are the majority. Many of them suffer from chronic diseases and take medicine every day. Although the original community-based clinic has closed since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, doctors and nurses continue serving residents.
A special delivery service was launched to provide health-care services and prevent cross-infection. Doctors and nurses help deliver medicine from nearby hospitals and leave them at designated collection points. The process is meant to reduce direct contact and lower infection risk.
Hangzhou-based companies are also using their technologies to help the city cope with the epidemic.
Dali Technology Co Ltd has provided its somatosensory system to check for signs of fever in the local airport, supermarkets and Metro and bus stations.
Traditional infrared thermometers may slow the movement of people in public spaces. The new system can prevent such situations and reduce cross infections. Meanwhile, it can locate people precisely and record big data.
At Hangzhou East Railway Station, all 20 exits are equipped with screening equipment. And each exit is staffed with doctors to supervise at the same time. If machines detect a person with fever, doctors can double check and immediately report suspicious cases to authorities.
“Passenger numbers have slumped nearly 70 percent year-on-year during this Spring Festival, but we still applied the most stringent preventive actions,” said Chen Wei from the Hangzhou East Railway Station.
Another biomedical company, Ustar Co Ltd, has developed a point-of-care testing kit for novel coronavirus, which can cut the time for diagnostic testing to 30 minutes.
Doctors can sample blood, saliva or excrement from a patient, and then put it into a portable testing machine. Testing accuracy has been refined to nearly 100 percent.
Traditional manufacturing enterprises are also doing their part in epidemic prevention.
In Hangzhou’s Jiande County, Chaomei Co Ltd is offering triple pay to staff, encouraging them to give up Chinese New Year holiday and return to work.
As a leading company in the personal protective equipment industry, Chaomei accounts for 30 percent of the protective mask market in China. The company has been producing 100,000 masks every day since February 1.
Hangzhou-based e-commerce giant Alibaba has offered 1 billion yuan in purchasing medical goods and protective equipment to support hospitals in Hubei Province.
Another local e-commerce titan, NetEast, has set up a 100-million-yuan fund to prevent and control the new epidemic. Meanwhile, it has provided around 200,000 free masks to Hubei Province. On January 31, it opened its first online learning platform for students and teachers all over China.
Geely Group, a Hangzhou-based vehicle manufacturer, has established a 200-million-yuan fund to support Hubei, Zhejiang, Henan and Guangdong provinces in controlling the epidemic.