Coronavirus patients in Wuhan dance to song about red flowers

(Reuters) - With elaborate hand movements and swinging steps, medical staff in full protective body suits, gloves and masks led coronavirus patients at a makeshift hospital in Wuhan in a dance earlier this week to entertain them and keep their spirits up.

“We hope to make the atmosphere more active by taking patients to do some breathing exercises and dancing occasionally,” Chen Xiaoyan, chief nurse at Zhongnan hospital of Wuhan University, told the China News Service.

Hundreds of patients were led by medical staff to a square in the hospital on Monday to exercise and dance to a lively Chinese song about red flowers, which some hope will be helpful for their recovery.

“Patients may be in a bad mood with the unfamiliar environment after being admitted to the hospital. Besides, there are so many patients living together, so they may feel nervous and spend a long time in bed,” Chen added, explaining the reason for the group activity.

Wuhan, the capital of central China’s Hubei province, has been converting buildings into hospitals to deal with the high number of patients that have contracted the coronavirus.

Hubei is the epicenter of the outbreak and has been under virtual lockdown for weeks. The epidemic has killed more than 1,100 people, all but two in China, and infected more than 44,000.

Reporting and Writing by Irene Wang and Darrelle Ng; Editing by Karishma Singh and Lincoln Feast.