Six Women Volunteers of CSPC in Huo-Yan Air Lab

January 20, 2021

On January 8, the Huo-Yan Air Lab (a mobile, inflatable P2-level biosafety laboratory) was put into operation in Hebei Gymnasium. It can perform up to 1 million COVID-19 tests per day to help prevent and control the pandemic resurgence in Shijiazhuang.

When the lab was just put into use, volunteers with testing qualifications were needed urgently due to the tight schedule resulting from the major COVID-19 risk in the city.

Since the COVID-19 resurgence, Shi Xinhui, a laboratory technician in the quality department of CSPC Zhongnuo Pharmaceutical, was unable to return to work due to the closed-loop management of her residential community. Seeing that many of her colleagues volunteered to be locked down in the factory to produce COVID-19 drugs, she also wanted to contribute her strength to contain the pandemic. On January 10, she decided to be a volunteer of the Huo-Yan Air Lab after learning that the lab was recruiting volunteers, as she had a laboratory technician qualification certificate.

The company leadership strongly supported her idea, and the colleagues in her department were also inspired by her. Many other lab staff who were quarantined at home also applied to become volunteers of the lab on the same day.

By the next day, six CSPC employees had applied to go to the Huo-Yan Air Lab, joining in the front line to fight against COVID-19.

Their names are Shi Xinhui, Liu Chen, Li Yuanyuan, Li Bo, Zhao Yu and Tan Xiaohui.

After a rigorous evaluation, the team of one post-90s, two post-80s, and three post-70s female employees headed to the Huo-Yan Air Lab in Hebei Gymnasium.

Their job is to extract and test the PCR test samples that were delivered, which is risky because of the direct contact with the samples.

“It would be a lie to say I wasn’t scared at all when we arrived,” Shi Xinhui said. “However, the other staff in the lab came from other cities such as Wuhan and Qingdao. They left safe places and traveled all the way to aid us to fight the outbreak, which ignited our courage.”

Soon, they stopped being apprehensive and concentrated on the inspection task. The lab staff worked in two shifts, from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm or from 8:00 pm to 8:00 am, with each shift being 12 hours long. Like others, they set off in the early morning and returned home late at night. During work, they were required to wear protective clothing throughout the day, except at meal breaks. Since it was not convenient to go to the bathroom in protective clothing, they did not drink water and ate less; they were soaked with sweat at the end of each day.

During the service, their dedication and diligence won the praise from the lab staff, and their protective clothing with “CSPC” logo were also a beautiful sight in the Huo-Yan Air Lab.

As time passed so quickly, their five-day volunteer work soon came to an end.

Their volunteer service was not only supported by the company, but also by their family members. Shi Xinhui said she didn’t expect to receive unanimous support from her family when she revealed her intention to become a volunteer to them. Her husband told her, “Don’t worry about us, just go ahead.” Their child said to her, “Mom, stay safe and go for it! ” The child’s teacher also shared Shi’s story in class, so that the pupils could learn from her courage and devotion to walk in harm’s way.

The short volunteer experience will become one of the most precious memories in their lives, and the CSPC is also proud to have such excellent and virtuous employees.

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