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Remote area takes extra precautions for festival

China Daily | Updated: 2023-02-03 09:16

KUNMING — With the Spring Festival falling on a Sunday this year, Dulongjiang, a remote township in Yunnan province, decided to welcome visitors and people returning home with safer road conditions and plentiful medical supplies.

Home to the Dulong ethnic group, who endured decades of poverty and poor access to the outside world, the township finally emerged from extreme poverty in 2018.

Due to weather conditions, Dulongjiang used to lose access to the outside world for six months every year until a new tunnel opened to traffic in 2014. But even now, heavy snowfall can still cut off traffic, and police and road maintenance workers have to remain ready to intervene in case.

To prevent possible shortages resulting from a blockage over the holidays, Dulongjiang doubled its emergency supplies and held drills for departments including the traffic police and the hospital, according to Deng Xianghe, head of the Dulongjiang Frontier Police Station.

"I know the government will always ensure that roads are safe to pass, especially the vulnerable sections," said Da Shichang, a tourist agency operator from Qinghai province. "But these safety measures will make tourists to Dulongjiang feel safer."

Medical facilities also faced pressure from the legions of tourists and returning migrant workers, so village heads and medical workers formed teams to visit every village in Dulongjiang to advocate on hygiene and COVID-19 prevention.

"After that, villagers voluntarily came to get vaccinated," said Feng Xiuqin, the 25-year-old vice-director of the township's central hospital.

Before Feng arrived in Dulongjiang, she was concerned about inadequate medical supplies and poor equipment, but her worries were dispelled once she was actually at the hospital.

"We have all the medicines and equipment we need, including an X-ray machine," she said.

The hospital has stocked up on sufficient drugs, including 1,200 COVID-19 vaccines, to meet the three-day needs of every villager for a month, and more drugs are on the way, Feng added.

"Spring Festival is a time for family reunions. I hope all villagers have a happy and healthy holiday," she said.


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