Epidemic-related reads steal literary spotlight –

Zhang Wenhong, a highly acclaimed doctor in Shanghai, shares his knowledge and insights about infectious diseases in his new book, Zhang Wenhong on Contagions. [Photo by Xing Yi/China Daily]

Books and activities related to the epidemic were a major highlight at this year’s Shanghai Book Fair, which concluded on Tuesday.

Among those that displayed such books was China International Publishing Group, which had a collection of books on international cooperation against COVID-19.

China, We Got Your Back and
China, We Stand with You are among the series of books on international cooperation against COVID-19. [Photo provided to China Daily]

One title that caught the attention of readers was China, We Got Your Back, which tells the story of a group of foreigners who overcame difficulties in purchasing medical supplies and sending them to Huanggang, Hubei province, in the early days of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The book was written by Raz Galor, an Israeli who graduated from Peking University in 2018 and who helped coordinate relief efforts with other foreigners who’d previously studied in China.

The Chinese version of the book was published by New Star Press, a subsidiary of China International Publishing Group, while the Hebrew version was published by Sella Meir Publishing House.

China, We Stand with You is another book in the same series by New Star Press. This book features the stories of 35 foreign experts who stayed or returned to China to help during the initial stages of the epidemic. An English version of the book was published by Alpha Science International.

Meanwhile, the Japanese version of Manual on Prevention and Control of COVID-19, which was edited by Chinese infectious disease doctor Zhang Wenhong, was also published at the fair alongside 20 other books related to the fight against the epidemic.

“We hope to bring the knowledge and experience about the Chinese fight against the epidemic to our readers through this book fair,” says Huang Wei, director of the editorial office of the China Foreign Languages Publishing Administration.

Another book, The Path of Our Couriers, shone the spotlight on couriers who continued to work during the novel coronavirus outbreak. Launched by YTO Express and Shanghai People’s Publishing House, the book features more than 80 stories and over 120 pictures that vividly depict the lives of these professionals who contributed to the fight against the viral outbreak.

“Express courier services have become an integral part of our daily lives, and they have been particularly valuable during COVID-19. Shanghai People’s Publishing House decided to collaborate with YTO Express to publish this book as our way of showing respect to every person involved in this profession,” says He Yuanlong, deputy Party secretary of the publishing house.

“This book is a tribute to the efforts of these couriers. Because of their courage and contribution, the country’s economic and social activities have been well-maintained,” says Yu Hongwei, deputy head of the Shanghai Municipal Postal Administration.

China’s express delivery business grew significantly this year. More than 40 billion packages were delivered between January and July, surpassing the total volume of 2017, according to data published by the State Post Bureau of China.

“There were so many touching stories amid the battle against COVID-19. We think it is meaningful to record and publish them,” says Ye Feng, vice-president of YTO Express.

The book fair organizer had also invited experts to share their knowledge and insights into the fight against COVID-19. Those in attendance included the highly acclaimed doctor Zhang Wenhong, the head of the Center for Infectious Disease at Huashan Hospital of Fudan University.

During a seminar held during the book fair, Zhang hails the importance of technology in the nation’s fight against COVID-19, pointing out that Chinese medical experts took just 10 days to complete the separation and genome sequencing of the virus. He adds that medical teams in China did not have the capability to do so during the SARS outbreak in 2003.

“This achievement is a reflection of the development of China’s science and technology sectors in the past 17 years,” he says.

“Life in the second half of the year will not be more difficult than the present. We could possibly be as happy as we are now, insofar that medical workers and citizens maintain high levels of vigilance.”

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