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Chen Yagang, director of the department of infectious disease at the Fourth Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine in Yiwu, was honored for his outstanding contributions to epidemic control at a national ceremony held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Sept 8.
Chen, who also contributed to the fight against severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003, led the third group of 310 medics from Yiwu and other cities in Zhejiang province to Wuhan during the COVID-19 outbreak.
"We worked around the clock and were severely understaffed," Chen recalled from when he first arrived in Wuhan.
He said that few medics in the third group had ever experienced such a situation, but showed no signs of fear.
The group of medics led by Chen was the largest group to travel to Wuhan in terms of the number of members. It also received and treated the most patients among all groups sent by the government of Zhejiang to Wuhan.
During their 49-day stay in Wuhan, the medical team led by Chen changed their workplace three different times. They treated 1,282 patients, 1,067 of whom recovered. Chen also organized 25 medical training sessions.
On March 5, the Zhejiang medical groups were recognized for their effective work in epidemic control and prevention. Chen himself received the title of "Zhejiang's Role Model" during the competition held in February 2020.
On March 28, all members of the group safely returned to Hangzhou.