Police couple guard airport security in coronavirus fight

novel coronavirus
novel coronavirus

Wang Yan nodded a greeting while hastily departing on another emergency call when running into her husband Zhao Hongwei who was busy carrying out safety checks of arriving passengers.

The police couple, both working at the Tianjin international airport, can barely meet due to their different schedules and heavy workload since they joined the intensive epidemic control efforts at the airport in early January.

The number of passengers is expected to rise at the airport this weekend as more firms return to work next week. It has greatly increased the pressure on the airport, especially given the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, said Zhao.

“As policemen, we should take the responsibility to protect passengers while ensuring smooth traffic flow,” Wang said.

By Friday morning, Tianjin had 81 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection. The city continued to report new confirmed cases in the past week.

Zhao is responsible for the contact tracing of suspected patients at the airport as passengers coming in or out of the city are required to fill in health declaration cards.

Wang is in charge of the daily patrol in different terminals, dealing with emergencies and assisting medical workers to administer temperature checks of passengers.

The couple have to wear masks, goggles and protective suits to protect themselves when facing the risks of close contact with suspected patients, and travelers at the airport are advised to wear masks at all times.

On Jan. 25, the first day on the Chinese lunar calendar, Zhao joined a special team to handle a landing flight carrying 30 passengers from Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, as airports in Wuhan have been closed.

After seven hours of rigorous inspection, three suspected patients were identified and transferred to designated hospitals for isolation and treatment while other close-contact passengers were kept in quarantine at hotels.

Zhao said he was so busy he was only able to tell his wife after the mission was completed, just as his wife hurriedly joined another emergency team of 20 policemen.

Wang said her 7-year-old son Xinxin must have gotten used to their busy schedule. “We always break the promises we make to our son such as taking him to an amusement park or playing together with his toys.”

Wang also planned to take her son to visit her parents in Jingshan City, Hubei Province, and she believed that the hardest-hit province could win the fight against the disease.

“Now, however, we have to hold the fort along with our colleagues at this critical period,” Wang said. Enditem

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