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April 6, 2020

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Back in the loving arms of family, after 55 ‘precious’ days in Wuhan

The 148 medical workers and support staff of the city’s third medical team to the Hubei provincial capital Wuhan, the city hard hit by the novel coronavirus, who returned to Shanghai on March 22, were yesterday discharged after 14 days in quarantine and testing negative.

Another 470 medical staff from Renji Hospital, Shanghai General Hospital, Shanghai No. 5 People’s Hospital, Shanghai No. 7 People’s Hospital and the Yangpu District Central Hospital in Wuhan, will return to Shanghai this afternoon.

The only remaining medical staff from Shanghai in Wuhan are the 51 members of the medical team from Shanghai No. 6 People’s Hospital.

To celebrate yesterday, the 148 planted trees at the quarantine site in Qingpu District and released balloons.

Chen Erzhen, vice president of Ruijin Hospital who led the team, said staff at the quarantine site had made them feel welcome.

“Besides being able to relax, we completed summaries of our experiences and ideas in the fight against the coronavirus and will share them with medics at home and abroad,” Chen said.

“Tomorrow we’ll be back at our old jobs. But the WeChat group of the third medical team to Wuhan will never dissolve. During the stay in Wuhan, we fought for the same goal and were always united as one.”

Wang Ruilan, from Shanghai General Hospital, said she felt grateful for the love and care locals gave them every day in Wuhan.

“I’m 54 years old this year and the new epidemic was a challenge for me,” Wang said. “When I was in Wuhan, I gained new knowledge and ways of working as well as experiencing the Wuhan medical teams’ spirit of selflessness. These are all worth keeping in mind for a lifetime.”

Wang, who led a team to save the first H1N1 flu critical patient in Shanghai in 2009, saved the life of a 103-year-old on March 16 in Wuhan.

“I had an online meeting with my colleagues at the quarantine site,” Wang said. “The pandemic is serious overseas and I attempted to seek their opinion on if they were willing to sign up to support foreign countries. What moved me is that all of them agreed within one minute.”

Guo Jiyun and Lu Ling are two nurses from Changning District Maternity and Infant Health Hospital who were responsible of caring for the critical coronavirus disease patients at Wuhan No.3 People’s Hospital’s Guanggu branch.

Although they are back in Shanghai now, they still worry about their patients in Wuhan.

Guo and Lu remember one elderly woman. When she got to their ward, the doctor had already issued a notice of critical illness.

Guo took special care of her, talking to her in a mild voice, before carrying out medical duties.

“Although she was unable to open her eyes, she slightly held my hand every time I called her,” Guo said. “I knew she can hear my words.”

Thanks to their care, the elderly woman no longer needs to use a breathing machine and can communicate with medics through eye contact.

“The 55 days I spent in Wuhan are the most precious experiences in my life,” Lu said.

“Next time when I visit Wuhan, I will go to the Wuhan No. 3 People’s Hospital and see the areas where I fought.”

During the quarantine, Li Qun, Li Limei and Liu Huining, three medics from Longhua Hospital, wrote a joint letter to the hospital, requesting to work on the front line again to battle the coronavirus brought to Shanghai from overseas.

Zhu Peimin, a female medic from Shuguang Hospital, also showed her determination to contribute to the virus fight.

“I’ve gained a lot of valuable experience in Wuhan on epidemic prevention and treatment,” Zhu said. “I hope that I can get to work soon. Whenever there’s a need, I’ll be there.”

After the long separation, Li Qingyun, a doctor with Ruijin Hospital, finally held his son in arms yesterday.

“It’s awesome that my dad, who I most admire, has come home,” said the young boy Li Jianing. “I hope each medic went to Wuhan like my dad can return home safely.”

The 51 medical workers with Shanghai No. 6 People’s Hospital left in Wuhan are still busy. Now they are in charge of the hospital’s last general critical care unit.

In the past 46 days, at Wuhan’s Leishenshan Hospital, they cooperated with medics from Shanghai Fifth People’s Hospital and received 116 patients, with 78 discharged.


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