Beijing prepared for workers returning from unlocked Hubei

By Liu Xuanzun and Leng Shumei Source:Global Times Published: 2020/3/24 22:48:41

Train policemen hand out COVID-19 prevention brochures to workers on the Z4, a special train carrying 167 workers from Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality to Beijing to return to work, on February 26. Photo: cnsphotos

Beijing community workers said they are prepared to welcome Hubei workers who have been stranded in the epidemic-stricken province for nearly two months safely and gradually, easing public concerns over COVID-19 as online posts indicated that there would be 300,000 such people.    

Beijing's epidemic prevention and control leading team held a meeting on Monday afternoon, calling for related authorities and local communities to arrange for getting back workers stranded in Hubei, the Beijing Daily reported.  

Along with the announcement, posts went viral on Chinese social media platforms that there would be 300,000 such people flooding into the capital, causing strong worries over the possible risk of a spread of COVID-19 during the process, which could bring huge pressure for the capital's epidemic prevention and control work. 

An official surnamed Zhou in a Beijing community confirmed with the Global Times on Tuesday that they had received a notice from superiors one day before to begin receiving people previously stranded in Hubei. 

The returning workers are expected to arrive in Beijing at the Beijing West Railway Station starting from Wednesday, Zhou said, noting that they are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine after arriving.  

Zhou said she was not informed of the specific number of returning workers but no matter how many there are, they would be welcomed in a safe and well-prepared manner.     

Another worker in a community in Chaoyang district told the Global Times on Tuesday on the condition of anonymity that they had not received any notice about the arrangement, but, in response to safety concerns, he said that there is no need to worry as those people have been quarantined in Hubei for two months and shown no symptoms so they should be healthy. 

Hubei is one of the major labor exporting areas in China. About 6 million Hubei residents work outside the province and 70 percent of them went back home for Spring Festival in January and were then stranded there because of the COVID-19 epidemic, according to the provincial authorities.  

As the epidemic situation in Hubei is easing, many places have arranged designated trains or flights to take back workers from Hubei. The province, after being shut down for nearly two months, also officially announced it would reopen exit channels in places except Wuhan starting Wednesday while Wuhan, where COVID-19 cases were first reported, will reopen on April 8.

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