A pensioner whose search for a stepbrother she lost contact with 49 years ago was interrupted when she ended up trapped in locked-down coronavirus epicentre Wuhan has found him after cops stepped in to help.
Authorities in Dazu District in China’s south-western municipality of Chongqing decided to help after they received a message from the pensioner’s grandson, Liu Liu, on 30th January.
Mr Liu, 26, said he and his grandmother Liu Huibi, 83, were stuck in Wuhan in Central China’s Hubei Province, which has been on lockdown due to the viral outbreak.
He said his grandmother who had moved to Hubei 60 years earlier had been desperate to find her step brother, Wi Yingcai, who she last saw in 1971 and who grew up in an orphanage before being adopted by her family.
Officers with Longshui Police Station in Dazu, who are occupied by work related to controlling and preventing the spread of the coronavirus, were nevertheless moved by the appeal and managed to sift through several thousand people before they came across an individual matching Mr Wu’s description.
They received confirmation when Mr Wu revealed he had grown up in an orphanage, and he recognised his step sister from an old and grainy black-and-white photograph provided by Ms Liu for reference.
The pair were reconnected through Chinese messaging application WeChat, but for the time being have been kept apart from a reunion as the coronavirus continues to spread throughout China.
Investigating officer Chen Zhiwei, with the Dazu Public Security Bureau, told local media: “We’ve received similar requests for help in the past, but this year’s was special because the request came from Wuhan, Hubei.
“Due to the viral outbreak, they were unable to travel to us, but there were things we could do from our side.
“The grandmother is 83 years old. Sixty years ago she left us and relocated to Hubei.
“Due to the lacking means of communication at the time, the grandmother was unable to contact her brother.
“We weren’t able to find a match using the name she provided, and the birthday she gave turned up thousands of results in our database.
“We spoke to village officials past and current, eventually finding the individual who identified the grandmother as his (step) sister.”
According to reports, the two plan to meet as soon as travel restrictions are lifted.
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