BEIJING: China is getting the world’s largest workforce back to work as the nationwide battle against COVID-19 has secured major strategic achievements.
The unprecedented fight has nurtured new trends in the workplace. For example, more attention is being paid to public health and e-commerce to boost consumption and emerging sectors brought by new applications based on the country’s rapid new infrastructure development of 5G networks and data centers.
Ye Man, head nurse of gastrointestinal department of Hubei General Hospital East District, one of the five remaining COVID-19 designated hospitals in Wuhan, is taking her first weeklong vacation since January.
The 34-year-old mother of two started to take a week off on Monday, one day after her hospital cleared all remaining confirmed COVID-19 patients. The nine ICU wards in her hospital had been kept occupied over the past several months.
Friday marked International Workers’ Day, and the start of China’s five-day public holiday. Ye said she planned to visit urban parks with her family during the holiday. At her busiest point, she and her colleagues took care of a ward filled with 40 COVID-19 patients.
“It was a really tough time,” she recalled. She had to wear a protective gown and a mask for nine hours a day and be separated from her family to avoid possible cross-infections.
Wuhan, capital of central China’s Hubei Province and once hard hit by COVID-19, cleared all confirmed cases in hospitals on April 26. Over 42,000 medical workers mobilized nationwide to aid Hubei have contributed to achieving a decisive outcome in the fight to defend Hubei and Wuhan.
In an inspection tour to Wuhan on March 10, President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, lauded medical workers as “the most beautiful angels” and “messengers of light and hope.” To reward brave and dedicated medics, major tourist sites in Hubei are offering free entry to medical staff over the following two years.
“We have a new batch of supplies today. Those who did not get the goods should hurry to buy now,” said Li Xuying, a livestreaming anchorwoman selling agaric mushrooms in Zhashui, a small county deep in the Qinling Mountains in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province.
Li has been prepared for a boom of online shopping in the holiday, because online buyers rushed to her livestreaming website to place orders, after Xi inspected the county and chatted with her in the village of Jinmi during a recent tour to Shaanxi.