Liao Jun speaks at the press conference in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei province, on March 8, 2020. (Photo source: official website of the State Council Information Office)
Reporting the stories of how China is fighting the novel coronavirus outbreak is the duty of frontline reporters despite of the dangers, a female reporter covering the epidemic said on Sunday.
"My colleagues call me the 'iron lady'. For reporters, regardless of gender, it's our responsibly and duty to go to the core infection zones and listen to people's stories," said Liao Jun, a reporter of Xinhua News Agency's Hubei bureau.
Liao made the remarks at a media briefing held by the State Council Information Office in Wuhan. To mark International Women's Day, six women who have been involved in epidemic control related works were invited to meet the press.
Since Liao has been reporting the epidemic in Wuhan for more than two months, she has visited hospitals, isolation facilities and local communities around the city. She has reported more than 500 pieces of stories.
Liao said she knows that reporting from the frontline of the battle against the epidemic could be dangerous. At the early stage of the epidemic, she had close contacts with people who were later confirmed to contract the virus in several interviews, without wearing protection gears.
"For the first time in my career, I felt it could cost my life. Of course, it was scary," said Liao, a mother of two children.
Meanwhile, Liao said she was often touched by people she met and stories she reported. "It's down to the efforts of ordinary people in different lines of work to keep Wuhan functional."
The story of a young couple was particularly memorable for Liao. Wang Xiaoting is a doctor of a hospital designated for novel coronavirus patients, and she had been staying at a hotel since Jan 23 to be isolated from her family.
Wang's shifts normally starts in the early morning when it's still dark outside. Concerned about her safety, her husband insisted on driving her from the hotel to the hospital, but Wang was worried that she may bring virus into the car and put her family's health at risk.
As a compromise, Wang's husband decided to follow her in the car and light up the road in front of his wife with the headlights while she walked to the hospital. The couple has been following the daily arrangement ever since.
Liao said she will always remember stories like this, which has shown the strength of Wuhan people.（Cui Jia and Liu Kun in Wuhan）