Everyone a warrior in coronavirus battle

Wang Yong
Chinese people have a responsibility to do their bit in preventing the spread of the current epidemic, even those who are just staying at home.
Wang Yong

At first glance, he seemed like an unsung hero for continuing to work despite feeling unwell. Now he is being investigated by police over a possible coverup of his disease. 

According to a People’s Daily report on Monday, police in Guilin in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region are investigating Zhou Jichang, an official with a district market supervision bureau, for having hidden his exposure in Wuhan, capital city of Hubei Province and the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic.

Zhou stopped over in Wuhan for about nine hours on his way back from central China’s Henan Province to Guilin late last month. He returned on January 21, and the next day was back to work, attending his bureau’s conference on preventing the epidemic that first broke out in Wuhan in December. 

On January 25, he developed a fever. Two days later, he went on duty during the Spring Festival holiday. On January 29, he was suspected of having the coronavirus infection and on that day admitted for the first time that he had been to Wuhan. On February 4, he was diagnosed with novel coronavirus pneumonia.

It’s unclear whether Zhou had intentionally covered up his exposure to the virus. However, 44 people he had contact with since his return have now been isolated for medical observation. 

The People’s Daily reported on February 8 that more than 20 people across China who had deliberately covered up their exposure were under investigation suspected of threatening public security by dangerous means.

In the current war on the coronavirus, everyone is a fighter. Even people staying at home who are stifling the spread of the virus by avoiding close contact with others. 

Zhou and others who went around as normal, knowing that they may have been exposed to the virus, posed risks to everyone they met. 

In addition to concealing itineraries, there have been media reports on subway or railway passengers refusing to wear masks or have their temperatures checked.

On February 3, one woman refused a temperature check and spat at quarantine workers at a railway station in Haikou, Hainan Province. 

On February 7, a man scuffled with security guards at a subway station in Shanghai over his refusal to wear a face mask. 

On February 8, a man in Harbin, northeast China, refused to wear a mask when walking outdoors and quarreled with community workers.

All three have been detained.

Also in Hainan, a suspect was found to have intentionally spit at doctors and nurses while being treated for symptoms similar to those associated with the coronavirus. He is now undergoing medical treatment in isolation.

China has made it clear that it will spare no effort in cracking down on illegal actions such as concealing exposure to the virus or spitting at medical staff and possibly causing them to be infected. 

Remember, everyone is a fighter against the virus. And remember, too, everyone must also conquer the “virus” of his or her ignoble acts.

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