Coronavirus: China raising virus prevention awareness in remote areas

A medical worker checks a driver's temperature at a checkpoint in Susong, China, on Feb 6, 2020.
A medical worker checks a driver's temperature at a checkpoint in Susong, China, on Feb 6, 2020.PHOTO: REUTERS

HEFEI (XINHUA) - On an "isolated" island in eastern China's Anhui province, all 2,754 residents are able to get the latest information on the fight against coronavirus and the services of epidemic control.

Although Xinxiang township on the island, located in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, has suspended its ferry service since Jan 27 to prevent the spread of Covid-19, name given to the disease caused by the virus that originated in Wuhan, the residents are aware of the measures taken to help protect themselves against the virus.

"Talking face to face is the most effective way to inform our residents of the latest information because more than 80 per cent of them are aged above 70, many of whom are illiterate," said Mr Zhang Zhongya, head of the township.

The township's government personnel have visited every resident's house to talk with the people, distributed 14,000 masks and sprayed 200kg of disinfectant since Jan 22. Any updates on virus prevention and control were also broadcast continuously through the fixed and mobile loudspeakers every day across the township.

The staff are also responsible for buying vegetables, grain and other daily necessities for the residents.

"The things that we need will be delivered to our homes directly after making a phone call," said Mr Cheng Xiaodong, a resident in the township. "We can stay at home at ease."

"Accuracy is very important in the publicity of the coronavirus prevention and control in rural areas," said head of Huangchi Township Yang Fei in Anhui province. "For the elderly, many of whom are illiterate, broadcasting through loudspeakers in villages is useful, while chat groups online and short message services are more effective among young people."

Companies in cities are also raising the awareness of virus prevention and control.

Delixi Electric, an electric company in the Anhui city of Wuhu, has prepared 27,000 masks for its employees and measures their body temperatures twice a day. It also disinfects all areas on the company premises every day and key areas four times a day.


It uses WeChat, an online messaging platform, to push out the latest information on epidemic prevention and control to its employees and sends QR codes for them to register their health conditions.

Manager Ye Xianbing at the company's safety and environmental protection department said: "We analyse the health data of employees and take care of those in need on a daily basis."

Mr Xi Zhiping, an employee, said: "It is our responsibility to focus on virus prevention not only for ourselves but also for others."