A police officer in China who has been patrolling a traffic checkpoint amid the novel coronavirus outbreak that’s sickened 28,000 worldwide missed the birth of his child and had to settle for meeting her for the first time over video chat.
A body camera captured the moment Zhang Lin, who is stationed at a checkpoint in Shuangliu District in Chengdu, first laid eyes on his newborn daughter, and the video was republished by AsiaWire. Zhang’s wife, who gave birth on Feb. 2 at Shuangliu Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital, had sent him a message informing him of the good news, the news outlet reported.
On the video, after receiving permission to call his wife, Zhang apologizes for not being at the hospital and is elated to learn that his wife and child are both healthy and safe.
“You’re sacrificing family for the greater good,” his wife tells him via video chat while lying next to their daughter in the hospital bed, according to AsiaWire.
Zhang again apologizes for not spending time with his family since the outbreak began, but his wife reassures him that she understands.
“You’re a policeman,” she tells him, according to AsiaWire. “Serve the people well. Don’t worry about things at home.”
Thousands of workers in China have been away from their families for weeks at a time as the country struggles to contain the coronavirus that’s killed 563 people, with all but two fatalities occurring in mainland China.
About 99 percent of cases have been diagnosed in China, where authorities first traced the outbreak to a live food market in Wuhan before discovering that it can be transmitted between people. Since the first illnesses were reported in early December, at least 28 other countries have reported confirmed cases, including 12 in the U.S.