SANYA, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- At 6 a.m., Zhang Haiyang, 22, drove a minivan to a delivery point in Jiyang District of epidemic-hit Sanya, a coastal resort city in south China's Hainan Province.
The prepackaged vegetables, sorted overnight, will be delivered to residents under quarantine after the sudden cluster outbreak of the novel coronavirus here.
Between Aug. 1 and Aug. 15, over 8,000 COVID-19 infections were logged in Sanya. Local authorities have therefore imposed temporary quarantine measures to contain the spread of the virus.
"Each bag has six kinds of vegetables and dragon fruit," said Zhang.
Zhang is in the second year of graduate school at a university in Russia. Because of the epidemic, he has been taking online courses in China for the past two years. After the latest COVID-19 outbreak in Sanya, he and his girlfriend Wu Fanli, 21, joined a team of volunteers and drove to deliver daily supplies to residents.
"Some drivers are unable to get out. If we do not do this, many daily commodities will not reach the residents in time," said Zhang. "We just want to do something."
According to Zhang, packing up is the most tiring work. "Each vegetable package weighs 12.5 kg, and I have to load them back and forth and sort out the goods in the narrow carriage with my back bent. Luckily, I often exercise. Otherwise, my body will not be able to afford it," he laughed.
They delivered more than 100 orders the day before and returned to their residence at 11 p.m. They had some bread and sausage for breakfast, and for lunch, they each had a cup of instant noodles.
"There's no hot water, so we had to chew it dry. We can only have a hot meal after arriving home at night," said Zhang.
Sitting next to Zhang, Wu's phone kept buzzing with endless phone calls. "The work is laborious, and having me with him will lighten his load a little," said Wu.
Some elderly don't know how to purchase food online, and Wu patiently teaches them to place orders on mobile phones.
"It is not easy for anyone during the epidemic, and we try to meet their needs," Zhang said. "It's always heartwarming when they thank us after receiving the food. What we're doing is meaningful."