Prominent coronavirus vaccine developer Chen Wei shares heroic Wuhan stories

By Liu Caiyu Source: Global Times Published: 2020/9/13 18:02:02

Crowds fill a night market in Baocheng Road in Wuhan on Saturday night. Photo: Cui Meng/GT 


Wuhan has not only regained its vitality, but has also become the symbol of China's formidable force in the arduous battle against the COVID-19 epidemic, as more untold stories from the city came to light after anti-COVID-19 scientist Chen Wei, together with other members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), returned to Wuhan in recent days. 

Numerous untold stories have turned Wuhan into a city of heroes, where scientists like Chen took the battleground as her home and raced against time to answer questions from the public, medical staff soldiered on in the front line at the risk of being infected, and volunteers put their lives aside to make their personal contributions, Chen said on Saturday, 100 days after she had previously left the city. 

On March 16, the world's first novel coronavirus vaccine injection was administered in Wuhan. In May, the world's first human data on a vaccine was also released in the city, Chen revealed, saying it was the heroic Wuhan people who made their research possible. 

Chen said she was worried about where to find volunteers for vaccine research, as Wuhan was in the middle of lockdown, but was surprised when 5,346 volunteers signed up, some of whom were couples. "If both of them were infected, no one would take care of their children. This touched me very much. They are really heroic Wuhan people," Chen said. 

When she led the fight in Wuhan on January 26, no vehicles were seen on the streets. But now, Wuhan has regained its vitality, and Chen marvels at the completely different scene of the city crowded with people and vehicles, even at night.

Chen, together with other 41 members of the CPPCC, made the journey back to Wuhan after China conferred the Medal of the Republic and other honorary titles to those who had made outstanding contributions to the fight last week.

During their four-day stay, they went to cities in Hubei, including Wuhan, Huanggang and Qianjiang, visiting hospitals, communities, enterprises and schools.

Yang Zhanqiu, a virologist based in Wuhan, told the Global Times on Sunday that the trip back to Hubei, where people have resumed work, production and school, aimed to spread the spirit of Hubei and Wuhan, and make Chinese people better comprehend that it was the unbreakable force behind the battle that allowed China to overcome the virus. 

The conclusion to Hubei and Wuhan's hard-won battle will give the country the greatest confidence, as China still faces challenges from a complicated situation at home and abroad, Yang noted. 

Reiterating that "the world's first shot of the novel coronavirus vaccine was injected in Wuhan" at this time aims to boost public confidence in the use of vaccination against a possible COVID-19 epidemic in the future, Yang said, adding that China will not return to the type of lockdown that Wuhan went through in the early stages of the epidemic.

China has approved 10 coronavirus vaccines for clinical trials, media reports said. 


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