Being a Guardian for the Safety and Health of Community Residents
January 04,2021   By:en.humanrights.cn
Jan.4,2021 -- en.humanrights.cn: Urban and rural communities are places where people live and work. They serve as the first "fortresses" for COVID-19 prevention and control. By guarding communities against the epidemic, we can effectively contain its spread to protect the lives and health of the people. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, 4 million urban and rural community workers have fought together against the epidemic, defying the risks. In particular, Party members and officials at the community level have been taking the lead, forming a powerful barrier against COVID-19 and demonstrating the mighty power of the people to win the war against the epidemic. Today, we are pleased to invite Ms. Li Meihong, secretary of the Party Committee and director of the Residents Committee of Bajiao Zhongli Community, Bajiao Street, Shijingshan District, Beijing, to join us in the discussion about how to build a strong community defense line to prevent and control the epidemic. 
en.humanrights.cn: Hello, Ms. Li! First of all, congratulations! You've won the honorary title of "A Role Model in Fighting the COVID-19 Epidemic".
Li Meihong: Thank you! 
en.humanrights.cn: As community residents, we would like to express gratitude to you and all your colleagues on the frontlines across the country for your hard work. 
Li Meihong: Thank you very much. All community workers have been working really hard. 
en.humanrights.cn: Yes, and they have played a very important role in the fight against COVID-19. So, what specific measures have your community taken during the fight? 
Li Meihong: Communities are at the frontline of the epidemic prevention and control. As community workers, first of all, we must prepare for a long-term battle. Second, there are different prevention measures for different people. Third, we should provide good service to community residents. 
We must develop our own ways of regular management. 
We are building our community into a smart community, making full use of technology. Our community was the first to install an entrance system featuring facial recognition and temperature check. When the epidemic was at its peak it took two minutes for a person to go through the checking process and enter the community, we also needed a lot of volunteers to support our patrolling work. After installing the smart system, it only takes two seconds to grant a person access to the community. 
We take different measures for different people. If you are a resident of this community, we input your portrait to the system. If you are a transient, you can apply for a magnetic card which is valid for one year. 
For the third type of people including delivery men and visitors, they are required to show their health codes for registration before entering the community. 
In terms of services, we pay greater attention to vulnerable groups in the community and try to meet their various needs. We are always conscientious about both small and big things. 
en.humanrights.cn: As the resumption of work and production has proceeded in an orderly manner the population mobility in the community has gradually increased, posing new challenges to the epidemic prevention and control. So, what specific measures did the community take to optimize the work in a more accurate and scientific way? 
Li Meihong: The next step is to promote the resumption of production and work. Take our Bajiao residential community as an example, 50 out of 54 units under our community have resumed production and work which is a very high percentage. To properly enforce epidemic prevention measures and meet anti-epidemic requirements, we have established a seven-person task force. The group is composed of officials who are assigned to certain areas in our community. For our community, Wang Jianqiang, deputy secretary of Bajiao Street, serves as the team leader. Team members include those from the industry and commerce administration, safety department, the urban management department, the food and drug administration as well as our community commissioners. They work together to provide people with assistance and guidance for a smooth resumption. 
There will be more people going in and out of the community with the resumption of work and production. We would pay special attention to three “gates”. First of all, we have equipped the community gate with a smart control system which helps to save manpower by the face recognition technology. Second, we make full use of the building gates. We build every entryway into an exhibition hall to display pictures taken at various activities we organized. We also publish information in the entryway about the property management company of the building, its maintenance telephone number and contact person, the official responsible for the building the community secretary, community police community, clinic staff and contact sheet with their phone numbers and photos. We want to build a warm community and provide good service. We hope to mobilize everyone to participate in the community building voluntarily and spontaneously through the bonds of neighborhood. We also use the entryway to spread knowledge about epidemic prevention and control. The third is the gate to each household. We sent perforated rider bill and "A Letter to Dear Neighbors" to every household. 
en.humanrights.cn: At present, the community is still working on preventing imported cases and stemming domestic resurgence. It calls for greater efforts from our residents and community workers. 
Li Meihong: Let's work together. We also received support from the old residents in the neighborhoods, Party members from the community and college during the fight. 
The Party members from the college include freshmen, sophomores and juniors. They voluntarily lent a helping hand at the beginning of the epidemic. They transformed themselves from students to workers by simply changing outfits. When our community lowered its emergency response to Level 3 for the first time, they took the initiative to organize a "3:30 p.m. Classroom". They picked up the children whose parents were unable to do so due to work and bring them back to the community and help them with their homework. They also played a very active role in the cultural activities that were organized by the communities engaging in almost every activity which touched me deeply. 
At the very beginning of the epidemic, we organized people working in the medical sector and formed a health team of volunteers, called the "Old Neighborhood Health Guarding Team". The team was set up to promote correct anti-COVID-19 measures. There was a WeChat group for each building which is convenient for communication. 
Volunteers helped relieve some people's anxiety. During the epidemic, the prevention and control work in the community was done very well with not confirmed or suspected cases. 
en.humanrights.cn: Well, you and your colleagues have worked very hard under great pressure in the battle against COVID-19. Of course, the epidemic has also sounded an alarm for us. So, what role do you think the community can play when facing outbreaks of such public health emergencies or natural disasters? 
Li Meihong: Honestly, the pressure on us was indeed considerable, especially at the beginning. We faced not only pressure from the epidemic prevention and control but also the lack of materials and personnel. We were really glad that we had wonderful personnel. As I mentioned just now, at critical moments, all Party members stepped forward and served as role models. 
And the old neighborhoods in the Shijingshan community are so amiable, lovely, and respectable. At the very beginning of the epidemic, they said that you had been working so hard and so tired. They offered to share the burden and helped us. 
People might think that floating population may not have a strong sense of belonging to the community. However, we found out that they also take the community as their own home just like us. They offered to help us and donated supplies and sometimes brought us hot milk. We were moved by their support. 
In my opinion, the most remarkable feature of our COVID-19 prevention and control lies in the mobilization of the public. Chinese people have united together to overcome the difficulties posed by the epidemic. Community serves as a bridge between the government and the people. Community workers can help people know more about welfare policies of the government. Meanwhile, the people can express their demands and difficulties to relevant government departments through us to get them solved. "12345" is a complaint hotline. While some communities received not a few "12345" calls, we did not because of people's high recognition of our work from the early stage. When you have won people’s trust and faith, they will be more cooperative. 
Residents in the community treat us like families. Social workers made a lot of efforts. During the epidemic, 17 neighborhood committee workers including me, worked from Lunar New Year's Eve to April for 67 days without going back home. We left our homes behind and stuck to our posts to keep the community safe, earning the recognition of community residents. That was the reason why they supported the community without hesitation when the community needed them. 
en.humanrights.cn: The people regard the community as their home and the community workers see the people as their family members. As you just mentioned, during the epidemic, perhaps the most important work the community has done was to mobilize people. 
Li Meihong: Not only the people, our social resources also play an important role in our daily work. We have the "12345 reporting mechanism". When the community encounters a problem that we can't solve, we report it to the government and ask them for help. In this way, people's concerns and anxiety are addressed. People can see clearly what the government and the community do for them. 
There are many elderly people in the community. There were more than 1,500 people who were over 60 years old in our community and it is almost 1,800 now. During the epidemic, we had a six-person assistance group which provided services to people in quarantine. The service gradually extended to the elderly who lost their kids, impoverished families as well as the elderly Party members in our community. The group helped them to buy grocery and medicine and deliver them to their doorsteps. We are still doing this. When these elderly people need help, they just let us know and we will do it for them. 
On behalf of community workers, I met the press and answered questions about epidemic prevention and control on a community level at a State Council press conference on April 11. The lowest-ranking "official" went up to the biggest stage. In fact, we are grassroots community workers instead of "officials". 
en.humanrights.cn: Community workers across the country are braving risks and working hard to protect people's health and safety. A vast number of urban and rural community organizations and workers, together with community residents, united as one, have fulfilled their responsibility and mission and etched a wonderful chapter in this battle against COVID-19. Let's pay tribute to heroes like Li Meihong, who are willing to take on more responsibility. Thank you for watching. See you in our next episode.


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