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When Zhang Yueli, a police officer, started his day at midnight on January 10, the temperature outside was minus 18 degrees Celsius, a record low for the region. Zhang stepped into a tent at a checkpoint near a high-risk novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) zone.

He had worked as a guard at this checkpoint near Xiaoguozhuang Village, Shijiazhuang City of Hebei Province in north China, for eight days in a row since the first confirmed case was reported from the village on January 2. He wore two sets of protective suits to shield him from the wind. The inner side of the goggles he wore blurred as the vapor produced by his breath froze. “The cold wind on

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