1st LD-Writethru: China Focus: Cherry blossom season brings nationwide medics back to Wuhan

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WUHAN, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Over a year ago, Fang Yafang made a decision to go to Wuhan where the country's first cluster of COVID-19 cases was reported. The 27-year-old nurse from Xiamen, east China's Fujian Province, battled against the virus there for 52 days, taking care of the severe patients.

It seems like deja vu, Fang said as she once again captured the first bud of spring in the city this year as it sees its annual cherry blossoms season starting from early March.

"When I first arrived in Wuhan last February, the city was nearly empty, with few on the streets but batches of medical teams from time to time," Fang recalled. "After over a year, Wuhan has returned to the bustle and hustle of city life."

Fang is among thousands of medical workers across China who had assisted Wuhan with the fight against the epidemic in 2020 and returned to the city this year with their family members to enjoy the stunning full bloom beauty, at the invitation of Wuhan.

According to official figures, the epidemic in Wuhan had been gradually brought under control with the assistance of more than 42,000 medical workers across China, and the city has reported no new local cases since May 18, 2020.

Wuhan University, one of the best places in the city to feast the eyes of cherry blossom admirers, announced it would offer free exclusive tours and performances for them and their relatives from Saturday to Sunday.

The events will continue for the next three years during the cherry blossom season, said Wu Ping, vice president of the university, at the Saturday welcoming ceremony that kicks off the two-day event.

According to Wu, some 1,500 students and teachers of the university have volunteered to help by giving guided tours, taking photos and providing water throughout the season.

"I was deeply moved as plenty of pedestrians stopped and waved at us on our way to Wuhan University on a bus that took us there," said Wei Lijuan, deputy director of the nursing department of a hospital in Yangquan, Shanxi Province.

"No city is more deserving of the scenery full of life and energy than Wuhan," said Wei.

Wang Yang from Hunan Province, among the first medical workers who rushed to help set up a major makeshift hospital in Wuhan, said the revisit reflected him of the tough battle a year ago along with his colleagues.

"It was such a rewarding experience for us to stand united with Wuhan, especially when we see the vitality of Wuhan today," Wang said, holding high a flag printed with the name of his hospital during the Saturday visit.

He added that it could also be enlightening for the children, so he took his child with him.

Apart from Wuhan University, all A-level scenic spots across Wuhan offer free entry to medical workers who had helped in the anti-epidemic fight.

"Spring has indeed arrived in Wuhan, and it breathes hope and renewal to people living here," said Wei, wearing a memorial badge as a gift from Wuhan University dedicated to anti-epidemic heroes like herself. Enditem

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