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GLOBAL-POY/STORIES-2020
RTX8BCUQ
November 23, 2020
A leukaemia patient and her mother coming from Hubei province cross a checkpoint at the Jiujiang Yangtze...
Jiujiang, China
Pictures of the Year: A Picture and its Story
A leukaemia patient and her mother coming from Hubei province cross a checkpoint at the Jiujiang Yangtze River Bridge in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province, China, as the country is hit by an outbreak of a new coronavirus, February 1, 2020. Reuters photographer Thomas Peter: "The clock was running out on farmer Lu Yuejin, desperate to get her 26-year-old daughter Hu Ping to chemotherapy for her leukaemia. But Hubei was under coronavirus lockdown and she struggled to pass a checkpoint to get to the hospital in the neighbouring province.'She needs to have her treatment. But they won't let us through,' she said when we met her at the police cordon. In February, the coronavirus had not yet become a global scourge, but for people in China, the epidemic was already a new reality. The authorities had closed off the city of Wuhan, where the virus was first discovered, and put the surrounding Hubei province under a virtual lockdown. Checkpoints had sprung up along its borders to prevent residents from leaving. People were scarred. Many stayed home and only ducked out to get food. Clad in full PPE, we travelled along the edge of the exclusion zone to report on how life was changing. Navigating the police and local government officials was the hardest part of our reporting as our presence was often not welcome. We found Lu Yuejin crying and pleading with the police. At one point she dropped to the ground, wailing. About an hour after she spoke with us, an ambulance arrived that took them to the hospital. I felt relieved to see them go. That morning they eventually got lucky, but this incident made me think of all the other untold tragedies during this pandemic, which has turned routine journeys into an obstacle course. For some, overcoming those hurdles is a question of life or death." REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File photo SEARCH "POY STORIES 2020" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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