The story appears on

Page A6

February 19, 2020

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro

Checkpoint workers tirelessly dedicated

MEASURING temperatures, checking ID cards and reviewing registration information — 55-year-old Xia Ruilin repeats this routine at least 300 times a day.

Xia is the oldest volunteer at the Fengjing checkpoint on the G60 Hukun Expressway in Songjiang District, and he performs this routine for every driver and passenger entering Shanghai.

His work requires him to stand at least eight hours a day, no easy task for someone who normally works at the Yexie Town office for disabled people in Songjiang.

Despite his age, Xia applied to be a checkpoint volunteer without hesitation.

“I want to contribute to the battle against the novel coronavirus epidemic,” he said. “Only two people at my office are men, and there was no reason to shirk.”

Xia said his back aches after standing all day, and plummeting temperatures coupled with rain and snow over the weekend made things even more difficult.

“My raincoat was blown away by strong winds, and my clothing was totally soaked by snow and rain,” he said. “My hands are frozen to numbness, and my protective glasses are full of vapor due to the low temperature.”

On some night shifts, he works from 7:30pm to 2am.

“It’s often difficult to walk even a step after a day’s work due to the long-time standing, and my eyesight is not good,” said Xia. “But I never regret my decision.”

Indeed, Xia is like a well-trained solider and steadfastly sticks to procedure.

“36.8 degrees: normal,” Xia said loudly to a medical worker at his side after taking a driver’s temperature. He then asked about the driver’s recent travel history and carefully checked his registration.

After checking everyone in the vehicle, he quickly moved to the next one.

“I don’t want to make drivers wait,” he said.

While Xia’s job is to help people safely reach their homes in Shanghai, he has not returned to his own home since January 27 due to concerns about potentially infecting his family.

“I do not tell my father I am working at the checkpoint because he will worry,” he said.

In Qingpu District, another team comprised of police, medical professionals and volunteers works 24 hours a day at the S32 Shenjiahu Expressway checkpoint.

“It is our duty to safeguard the western entrance to Shanghai and ensure the health and safety of Shanghai residents,” said Xu Siying, a traffic police officer with the Qingpu District Public Security Bureau. He has been working 12-hour shifts at the checkpoint since January 27.

He is responsible for checking information and maintaining order at the checkpoint.

With people returning to work, the daily traffic flow through the checkpoint consists of about 5,000 vehicles and 13,000 people.

Traffic peaks between 1pm and 10pm with heavy congestion at times.

Xu thoroughly screens every vehicle, driver and passenger passing through the checkpoint.

People coming from badly infected areas are placed under home quarantine for 14 days. And those without residence or employment in Shanghai are told to turn back.

Police accept residence cards, employee cards, property-ownership certificates, student cards and other documents as proof of residence or employment in the city.

Due to a lack of protective gear, Xu has to make what he and his colleagues have last as long as possible. 

“Sometimes, we need to disinfect equipment repeatedly to make it last longer,” he said.

The temperature in the district recently plummeted to negative 3 degrees Celsius.

“I have prepared heavy clothing, such as helmets, hats, gloves and scarves for my brothers,” said Xu, referring to his colleagues.

However, even with heavy clothes, working was uncomfortable amidst snow and gale-force winds.

“Standing at the checkpoint in the snow for hours makes it difficult even to hold a pen and thermometer, but nobody complains,” he said.

Tents are set up to provide warmth for team members.

It takes about two minutes for a vehicle to get through the checkpoint if information has already been submitted online. If not, a form must be filled out which can take up to five minutes.

Qian Lei, 48, deputy director of the Liantang Town community health service center, is at the checkpoint to double check the information of drivers and passengers. Those who have abnormal temperatures will be sent to him for further checkup.

“As a medical worker, it is our responsibility to be at the front line during the epidemic period,” said Qian.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend