Medical staff record information of a patient at “fangcang” hospital in a cultural building complex dubbed “Wuhan Livingroom”, Feb. 9. (Photo by Li Han, People’s Daily)
Medical staff record information of a patient at “fangcang” hospital in a cultural building complex dubbed “Wuhan Livingroom”, Feb. 9. (Photo by Li Han, People’s Daily)

Wang Yongyan’s aunt has prepared a little gift for her — a wig.

Wang is a nurse from the respiratory department of the People’s Hospital in the city of Xingyi in southwest China’s Guizhou Province. She has participated in the battle against the coronavirus in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, more than 1,300 km away from Xingyi.

Before she went to Wuhan, Wang shaved her head.

“She loves her long hair, and she loves taking selfies,” her aunt said. “But she cut it for the convenience of work and to prevent infection.”

Hubei Province reported 1,933 new confirmed cases and 100 new deaths Sunday, according to the provincial health commission Monday.

The latest report brought the total confirmed cases in the hard-hit province to 58,182. Wuhan, the provincial capital, recorded a total of 41,152 confirmed cases.

On Feb. 4, Wang, 31, joined the provincial medical team to help assist rescue work in Wuhan. She currently works in a make-shift hospital converted from a convention center in Jianghan District.

“The hospital has six medical teams from Wuhan and 10 from across the country,” Wang said. “We have received more than 1,000 infected patients with mild symptoms.”

Guizhou’s medics took charge of 15 wards at the hospital, with Wang taking care of 29 patients for six hours every day. She goes through all the wards every hour, checks the patients’ blood oxygen saturation and asks about their physical conditions.

“If a patient feels uncomfortable, I report to the doctor, who then prescribes medication,” she said.

On night shifts, she takes blood samples, collects nucleic acid testing tubes, fetches breakfast and hands out traditional Chinese medicine to the patients.

For the rest of the time, she is mainly answering all kinds of questions from anxious patients, who address her as “Little Wang.”

“They would ask me: Little Wang, Little Wang, should I take my diabetes and blood pressure medication?” she said. “Or they would say: Little Wang, Little Wang, I need to change my mask, do you have an extra one? And when can I get out of the hospital?”

“Besides medication, what they need is hope in times like this,” she said.

During the day, Wang tries to encourage the patients to get out of bed and exercise to enhance their immunity.

“I apply for 29 masks every day, but the patients need to get out of bed and do some exercises to get them,” she said.

After almost two weeks in Wuhan, Wang is happy that one of the patients in her wing has been discharged from the hospital. The patient wrote a thank you note to her before leaving.

“We hope that we will get through this epidemic as soon as possible,” Wang said. Enditem

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