Beijing Review

Braced for Headwinds

At dawn on March 17, Jiang Jia tenderly kissed her sleeping son goodbye and headed out the door quietly. She was flying out from southeast China on a special mission to Wuhan in Hubei Province in central China and wouldn’t see him again for 14 days at least.

The day before, a leading group of China’s novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response announced a phased withdrawal of medical workers from Hubei, a sign that the epidemic had been brought under control in the hardest-hit region.

As the crew chief of MF8765, a charter flight of Xiamen Airlines, Jiang’s mission was to escort 138 doctors and nurses in Wuhan back to their home city Tianjin near Beijing. The 1 p.m. flight on March 17 was the first of the 21 charter flights

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