Individuals from all walks of life are contributing to the fight against the deadly disease. Yang Zekun reports.
"We are in a war against the coronavirus－there is no good reason to run away when you can be a fighter."
That's what Zhang Zhan, a doctor from Wuhan, Hubei province, was thinking when she volunteered to work at the forefront of the "battlefield" against the coronavirus outbreak, which started in the city.
Before the outbreak, Zhang was a senior doctor in the outpatients clinic of the Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine of Renmin Hospital at Wuhan University. She does not know when she will return to her old job.
Faced with a rising number of confirmed cases at the hospital, Zhang volunteered to work in the observation room, where she would meet and interact with a large number of infected patients. That would place her at greater risk of becoming infected.
Zhang is an experienced doctor. She worked at Guangdong Second Provincial General Hospital in Guangzhou, Guangdong's capital, treating patients infected during the 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome.
As a result, she was fully aware of the risk of becoming infected with the coronavirus, especially as medical supplies such as face masks were in short supply.
She said being a long-stay doctor in the observation room allows her to observe the patients constantly and eases the burden on the other doctors－who rotate shifts in the observation room－as she provides the lion's share of the treatment.
"As a doctor, the battlefield can be everywhere," Zhang said in a petition she wrote when she volunteered for the job. She decided not to tell her husband about the petition, as he is a neurosurgeon at the same hospital and she didn't want him to worry about her.
Zhang submitted her application on Jan 18 and quickly obtained approval from hospital authorities. That was when life began to get hectic.