Xi Focus-Closeup: Xi and the heroic city in his thoughts

2022-03-02 16:46:00 | From:Xinhua

Medical workers at Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, Hubei province bid farewell to a novel coronavirus pneumonia patient, before she was transferred to a branch hospital, on April 25, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

In a few days, China's national legislature and the country's top political advisory body will convene their annual sessions in Beijing, the third of its kind since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first was in 2020. The event, usually held in March every year, was postponed to late May that year due to the outbreak.

Leaders, who are deputies to the National People's Congress (NPC) themselves, cut short their participation in group deliberations with fellow national lawmakers. But President Xi Jinping said he must see and talk with one group of them in particular -- those from Hubei province. And he did.

Hubei and its provincial capital Wuhan in particular were where the epidemic took a heavy toll. To Xi, the NPC deputies from Hubei represent the province's nearly 60 million people.

"The people of Hubei and Wuhan have made great contributions and sacrifices to ensure the epidemic was brought under control," Xi told the Hubei delegation when he joined them for deliberation on May 24, 2020.

By then, Wuhan had gone through unprecedentedly rigorous quarantine measures. With the highest concentration of cases nationwide in early 2020, the city of 10 million was locked down for 76 days to stem the spread of the virus. The lockdown was lifted on April 8, 2020.

"Wuhan is truly a heroic city, and the people of Hubei and Wuhan are truly heroes," Xi said.

Before the lockdown was lifted, Xi visited Wuhan in March 2020, praising people there as "heroic people" and attributing the hard-won success of epidemic control measures to their sacrifice, devotion and perseverance.

The people of Wuhan demonstrated the strength and spirit of China and the Chinese people's love for their family and nation in sticking together through thick and thin, Xi said.

At the group deliberation of the NPC session, Xi conversed with Luo Jie, who was head of a hospital in Hubei.

Xi said he was impressed by Luo's account that the hospital organized a 10-member team just to save an 87-year-old patient from COVID-19.

Xi had earlier summed up the experience at Luo's hospital as a fitting embodiment of China's COVID-19 response principle -- putting people first and doing whatever it takes to save lives.

In Hubei, more than 3,600 COVID-19 patients over 80 years old recovered, among whom the oldest was 108.

Overall, this people-first principle and the quick and effective responses have become an essential part of the Chinese way to battle the virus, helping China to minimize deaths and infections while enabling it to reboot the economy as soon as possible.

"The measures you have taken and the lessons learned are all invaluable experience in epidemic response. This is a major contribution of Hubei," Xi told the Hubei delegation at the NPC session.

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