Speaking to Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, medical workers in Wuhan -- the city of 11 million people at the center of the coronavirus outbreak -- have described an incredibly intense environment, where they must balance dealing with the overload of patients and suspected patients while also keeping themselves safe.
"Today, I heard one of my colleagues say that she has got blisters on her face," Wang Jun, a nurse at Jinyintan Hospital, told the broadcaster. "It happened because she had to keep the face mask on tight for a long time."
Wang described the laborious process nurses undergo to enter hygienic areas:
"We need to remove the protective suit layer by layer. First, we need to disinfect our hands before taking off the face shield. Hand disinfection is actually required before we remove each layer. Then, we would take off the protective suit from top to bottom, one layer at a time with hand disinfection performed. After that, we would come outside to remove the shoe covers, the cap and the mask, disinfect our hands again, and come here to wash our hands before entering the potentially contaminated area. Then, we have to get changed into our own clothes to walk into the hygienic area."
Another nurse, Fan Li, said that she often goes a whole shift without being able to go to the bathroom or get a drink of water.
"I would drink some water before my shift, and wait till the end of my shift to drink water again or use the toilet," she said. "We can't do either of those things in the wards."
They also have to deal with the potential of being infected themselves -- or simply succumbing to exhaustion.
"Many of my friends and colleagues called me yesterday and asked if I'm alright," Fan said. "It was quite touching. They said the medical staff of the Jinyintan Hospital are the greatest as we work on the front line. I feel very moved."