A total of 7,022 medical workers belonging to 66 medical assistance teams left Hubei by air on Tuesday, March 31, after the COVID-19 outbreak in the hard-hit province had finally been subdued.
It was the largest batch of departing medics since medical assistance teams began to withdraw on March 17.
"Im very happy. It has been a special journey to say the least, and an unforgettable learning experience for me," said She Sha, a nurse from Sichuan Province, who spent 59 days combatting the deadly virus in Wuhan.
Her plane, on which boarded another 116 colleagues of Shas, took off at 1:33 PM from the Wuhan Tianhe Airport.
Meanwhile, Feng Ning, a captain with China Southern Airlines, flew 87 medical staff back to Guangdong Province.
"I have fulfilled my promise that I made two months ago when I brought them here -- to bring them back home," he said.
Artists from the provincial federation of literary and art circles put on performances at the airport to pay their respects to all departing medics.
Several airports held a "watergate" ceremony as planes landed on their respective runways in celebration of these medical heroes returning home from the front lines.
Shijiazhuang, Hebei province
90 police officers came out on their motorcycles to escort people holding placards as they lined the roads to welcome them home.
The medical team's bus drove through the downtown area of Shijiazhuang to the isolation point where staff would be staying to recuperate.
Guangzhou, Guangdong province
Guangdong medical team members sang "Me and My Country" from the top of their lunges after landing at the Baiyun airport.
They hugged in tears while singing, ecstatic to finally be home after such a dreadful journey.
Flight attendants sobbed and hugged members of the Beijing medical team as they boarded the plane. "It's an honor to welcome you home, one of them announced to everyone on board. We fought with you."
As for the Zhejiang medical team, they jumped happily in each others arms before leaving the airport, finding it hard to believe they were finally headed back home.
Between March 17 and 31, more than 32,000 medical workers were sent home.
Thank you for fighting for Hubei and China!
As the world continues its fight against COVID-19, we take the time to send our most heartfelt gratitude towards all medical staff who risked and are still risking their lives on the front lines to save other infected patients.
For those who have already returned home, take a deep, long rest.
They have certainly deserved it!
Editor: Crystal H