With the approval of the Central Military Commission, the Hubei provincial military command has mobilized 130 trucks and 260 soldiers to form a team to help transport food and other necessities for the 10 million residents in the city of Wuhan, capital of Hubei.
People's Liberation Army soldiers unload groceries at a community in Wuhan, Hubei province, last month. (Photo: China Daily)
Since the lockdown of the city on Jan 23, the transport of such goods has been a severe challenge, particularly because most local logistics companies were on vacation due to the Spring Festival.
In order to meet residents' needs, the People's Liberation Army's transportation team is responsible for delivering supplies from the outskirts to downtown supermarkets scattered around the 8,500 square-kilometer city.
"I have driven over 2,000 km in the past month, which is even longer than my past five years of driving," said Zhu Chunlei, a soldier on the team.
"No matter how severe the epidemic situation is, the basic lives of the people must be fully safeguarded. This is our mission. I am a soldier to serve the people. When the country needs me, I will fulfill the mission."
In order to ensure that fresh vegetables and other goods can reach residents as soon as possible, Zhu and his companions - most of whom participated in rescue efforts during the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake and floods in 2016 - usually set off early in the morning and return late in the afternoon.
Wang Yujing, deputy manager of the fresh food division of Wuhan Zhongbai supermarket storage and logistics center, said that the PLA team is very efficient, as it could deliver up to 50 tons of goods in half an hour.
"The arrival of the military transportation team is a boost not only for logistics but also for us all," Wang said.