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People's Daily Online

All-out efforts demonstrate China's ability to contain epidemic

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 15:47, February 02, 2020

HANGZHOU, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Fewer cars, empty streets, quiet stations and smaller crowds in the supermarkets, this year's Spring Festival is quite different from previous years with the novel coronavirus sweeping China.

Many Chinese are going in the reverse direction during the Spring Festival, not heading home, but to work on the frontlines of the fight against the epidemic.

Hua, a resident in Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province, decided to shorten her family union in central Henan Province and travel back to Hangzhou on Jan. 26, the second day of the Lunar New Year and traditionally a day for visiting relatives and friends.

"In order to reduce face-to-face interactions with others, we decided not to visit our relatives during this Spring Festival," Hua said. She did not talk with anybody during her five-hour journey back to Hangzhou. People around her wore masks and the ride was quiet.

Chinese health authorities said on Sunday that the overall confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection on the Chinese mainland had reached 14,380 by the end of Saturday, and a total of 304 people had died of the disease.

Hua chose to stay at home, separating herself from the outside world physically, with a mobile phone full of downloaded films.

According to Chinese health authorities, residents are advised to stay at home in order to contain the epidemic.

Hua's choice was shared by many other Chinese people during the Spring Festival holiday. Many people got instructions from TV and mobile phones, stayed at home with their family members and chose not to visit relatives and friends.

With just a few taps on her mobile phone, Hua easily sends wishes to her relatives and she can also make video calls.

The day after her arrival, the seven-day Spring Festival holiday, scheduled to end on Jan. 30, was extended to Feb. 2.

Universities and schools across the country are required to postpone the opening of the spring semester, and many factories and companies postponed the start of work.

Large-scale activities for the Lunar New Year celebrations, including temple fairs, winter sports and exhibitions, have been canceled to minimize large gatherings of people.

At the national level, China is mobilizing medical resources to aid Wuhan and control the epidemic. Thousands of doctors and nurses left their families behind and volunteered to go to the city.

According to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Chinese travel agencies and online tourism enterprises should suspend group tours starting from Jan. 24.

In urban areas, local governments are trying their best to control the spread of virus through traffic control, temperature measuring and technologies to block and track infections.

In rural areas, village chiefs urge villagers to stay at home to reduce risky face-to-face interactions.

The Chinese government at all levels is making efforts to ensure financing and supplies. In east China's Zhejiang Province alone, financial support related to the prevention and control of the coronavirus has exceeded 1.2 billion yuan (about 173 million U.S. dollars).

Factory workers went back to work on the first day of the Lunar New Year in Zhejiang, producing masks, medicines, and even zips for protection suits which were greatly needed in Wuhan.

"As an old Chinese saying goes, every man is responsible for the fate of his country. At this critical juncture, we should do our work and help our nation as much as we can," said Liu De, a technician who kept working in his factory on New Year's Eve to manufacture more masks.

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