New martyrs in virus battle

China Daily
Huang Panyue
2020-02-19 18:44:10


On Monday, the Ministry of Veteran Affairs and the Central Military Commission jointly issued a notice saying medical and other staff members who succumb to infection in the fight against the novel coronavirus should be given the title of "martyr" if they fulfill the requirements.

The fight against the epidemic is no less than a war, in which the authorities mobilize personnel and other resources and those who fight on the front line face real danger. The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday said 3,019 medical staff in 422 hospitals had contracted the virus and 1,716 of them have been diagnosed with the pneumonia it causes; at least six of them had reportedly passed away.

The medical staff apart, millions of others are exposing themselves to the virus while controlling traffic, guarding residential communities, researching new drugs or vaccines and sterilizing public places. Some policemen, taxi drivers, community staff members and road cleaners have reported infections, and have died.

By stating that such people should be given the title of martyrs, the State has taken a right and necessary move. Those who die in the service of their countrymen deserve such honors and their names should be remembered forever.

Besides, such honors are a great help and solve some actual problems. Many of the people who died fighting the epidemic were the sole breadwinners for their families and their deaths mean more than huge emotional losses; they also mean huge financial difficulties for the families. If accorded the title of martyr, their families can get support from the State that will reduce their financial troubles.

Those who died in the fight against the epidemic are not the only ones making sacrifices. Many suffer from diseases and could suffer health problems in the future. There is a need for more such policies for the benefit of those fighting the epidemic.

It is, however, hoped that better protective equipment and measures are found soon to minimize the loss of lives and that these soldiers fighting the epidemic return soon from the battlefield, victorious and safe.

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