Foreigners well protected in China’s Guangzhou during COVID-19 pandemic

By Luo Aihua, People’s Daily
Kingsley, a Nigerian patient who had contracted the novel coronavirus, was recently discharged from Guangzhou Eighth People’s Hospital, south China’s Guangdong province after month-long treatment.
“I received good care and medical treatment in China, and I’m grateful toward the medical workers,” the man said.
So far, all 41 imported COVID-19 cases and 143 infected but asymptomatic foreigners have been discharged from hospitals in Guangzhou.
The city dispatched a working group to guide pandemic containment, and offered daily services, foreign affairs communication, emergency response and 24-hour service. In addition, it also rolled off a package of management policies, and set up 46 workstations across the city to help foreigners.
Guidebooks of living in Guangzhou have been available for foreigners in every residential communities and designated quarantine hotels since March, which introduce hotel information and contact information of nearby supermarkets and restaurants. Besides, the city has also dispatched work teams to residential communities and hotels that work 24 hours a day, which are all equipped with translators or translating machines.
Mike, an kindergarten teacher from Egypt living in Lixing community, Zengcheng district of Guangzhou, said China was doing its best to protect people’s lives and health, which made him safe and reassured, adding that he is happy living in the country.
Valeria from Russia shared the photos and videos she took at a quarantine site in Guangzhou with her friends, and they all hailed the environment and meticulous services.
Sakamoto from Japan wrote a letter to the hotel he stayed for quarantine, saying “I encountered nothing unpleasant or inconvenient in Guangzhou. The 14-day quarantine was a happy experience for me.”
In an open letter to its Chinese and foreign residents, Guangzhou required that service agencies and individuals treat Chinese and foreigners equally, and do not discriminate based on nationality, skin color or gender. The letter also provided 20 how-tos on entering 16 kinds of facilities in the city, as well as extensive tips on living in Guangzhou, to make sure foreign residents enjoy the same services in the city as their Chinese peers do.
Touched by the attentive services, more foreigners volunteered to help on the front line of COVID-19 control.

Cameroonian student Wilson and his Burundian friend volunteered to deliver food at a designated quarantining hotel in Baiyun district of Guangzhou, while foreign students from Guangdong Mechanical and Electrical Polytechnic set up the city’s first international volunteering organization, an 84-member group offering translation service for neighborhood committees and foreign residents.
Besides, 14 students from Tanzania and other 12 African countries studying at the Southern Medical University organized a service team to help medical workers at Guangzhou Eighth People’s Hospital comfort foreign asymptomatic coronavirus carriers.
Twenty-five volunteers from 15 foreign countries, including the U.S., Angola, Cameroon, France, Ghana, Italy and India recently shared their stories of fighting COVID-19 on an exchange meeting held at a community service station in Guangzhou’s Tianhe district. One of the volunteers who have stayed in the city for 20 years said he takes Guangzhou as his home, and some said their friends have been inspired to join the volunteering service by them.
By taking the most comprehensive, strict and thorough control and prevention measures, China is gradually improving COVID-19 containment results and has realized important phased achievements, gaining wide recognition and praise from foreigners in Guangzhou. Gureeye Abdirahman Abdinasir, a graduate student from Southern Medical University said he understands China’s control measures, as the country prevents the virus, not people.
“It is because of the strong preventative measures taken by the country that we are now able to move freely,” said Catherine McNabb from Canada, who is the chief sales officer at the marketing department of Four Seasons Hotel in Guangzhou.
Alima Danfakha Gakou, head of a consular delegation of African countries in Guangzhou and consul general of Mali in Guangzhou, highly praised the unremitting efforts of China in the fight against COVID-19 on behalf of the consul generals from 65 countries and other officials of the consulates in Guangzhou, at a recent meeting.
Giving full recognition to China’s sharing of disease containment experiences and provision of preventive medical materials, she thanked Guangzhou for its efforts to protect the general interests, and to advance friendship, solidarity and cooperation.

Foreign volunteers write greeting cards to foreign residents under quarantine in Baiyun district, Guangzhou, April 20. Photo by Chen Jimin, China News Agency

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