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Front-line medical staff assured their families will be cared for

By ZHANG YU in Shijiazhuang | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2020-02-19 07:24
Medical staff from Shanghai busy with their work in Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital. [Photo provided by Xinmin Evening News WeChat account]

Families of medical staff who are fighting the novel coronavirus pneumonia will be taken care of by governments or other social groups if they need help.

Such measures have been taken in many Chinese cities to help ease worries of front-line medics who can't look after their families during this critical period, authorities said.

"If they have elderly parents, little children or disabled family members who are left without care, welfare institutions or special places arranged by the government will provide free care services," Li Hongbing, deputy head of the Beijing Civil Affairs Bureau, said at a news conference on Friday.

The city has provided a hotline for reporting such needs, and the bureau will take care of the arrangements, Li said.

Chongqing has rolled out similar measures. The municipality has designated people to visit the families of medical staff at least once a week to check if they need help.

In Hubei province, where the outbreak started, front-line medics' children who will attend this year's high school entrance examination can be given an extra 10 points, according to a notice released by the provincial government on Tuesday.

Other children that are going to be enrolled by kindergartens, primary schools or middle schools this year can arrange to attend local schools with high-quality educational resources.

In Bengbu, Anhui province, volunteers help the families of front-line medical workers purchase daily necessities and solve difficulties.

To help their children study well at home during the extended winter holiday due to the virus outbreak, a dozen colleges and universities in the country are providing free tutoring online.

More than 50 students from Hebei Normal University are serving as one-on-one online tutors for children of medical staff in Hebei province or those who are sent to help with the front-line battle against the epidemic.

According to the university, those volunteers will first consult medical staff and their children about specific learning needs and then make plans to tutor lessons or help solve problems during their studies.

"I'm very thankful because the tutor has provided huge assistance to me by giving my son private lessons," said a doctor surnamed Liu at the fever clinic of Shijiazhuang Great Wall Hospital in Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei.

According to Liu, her 14-year-old boy is in his second year at a local middle school. His tutor from Hebei Normal University helps him with physics and math for about two hours a day.

Liu also goes to public transport stations like railway and subway stations to help check passengers' health conditions. This has left her little time with her son, she said.

"Since the tutoring started last weekend, my boy has become more eager to learn when I'm not at home," Liu said, adding that it has helped her ease a lot of pressure.

At Northwestern Polytechnical University in Shaanxi province, more than 600 students have volunteered to give private lessons to children and also help them deal with psychological issues they may have without their mothers or fathers being around.

Nationwide, various supportive measures have been introduced. In some provinces, including Hebei and Hunan, front-line medics can receive psychological counseling. In Nanjing, Jiangsu province, medical staff who have overworked will be forced to take a break.

Central authorities have also demanded local governments take measures to improve their work and rest conditions and distribute subsidies for their work during the outbreak.

Xin Wen contributed to this story.


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