China Focus: Foreigners confident in China's anti-epidemic efforts-Xinhua

China Focus: Foreigners confident in China's anti-epidemic efforts

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2020-02-02 17:53:40

BEIJING, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, foreigners in China have shown great confidence in the country's unprecedented efforts for epidemic control.

"The speed with which China detected the outbreak, isolated the virus, sequenced the genome and shared it with the WHO and the world are very impressive, and beyond words," World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Thursday after the organization announced the novel coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

"So is China's commitment to transparency and to supporting other countries. In many ways, China is actually setting a new standard for outbreak response," he added.

That reflects not only China's high sense of responsibility for the lives and health of its own people but also its strong support for global disease prevention and control, he said.

Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the Chinese government has attached high importance to the safety of foreigners in China. Foreigners have also actively cooperated in the country's anti-epidemic war.


Antonio Caminada has been a captain with China Eastern Airlines for 30 years. The 59-year-old Brazilian is now in quarantine at a designated hotel in Chengdu, southwest China's Sichuan Province, as he had been to Wuhan, the hard-hit city of the novel coronavirus.

"I arrived at the hotel on the morning of Jan. 27, and I'm really grateful because everybody's treating me nicely and kindly," he said.

According to Caminada, every morning people come to check his temperature and blood pressure and provide food and essentials he needs.

Caminada is "very impressed by the way the Chinese people and the Chinese government are dealing with this bad situation."

"The response was very, very fast," he said. "I never saw this anywhere in the world."

Timo Balz is a German engineering professor at Wuhan University. He said he was impressed by the local government's courage and efforts in combating the disease.

"My family has enough food supply and medical products such as masks and alcohol cleansers since the city was put on lockdown for epidemic control for more than one week," he said.

According to the professor, he and his family spent most of their time at home and wore masks when going out after Wuhan decided to further extend the holiday along with other cities in Hubei Province.

"Not only my family members, but also our community and Wuhan University really stick together since we are willing to support and help each other, and we are not afraid of staying here," said Balz, who has lived in Wuhan for 12 years.


The overall confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection on the Chinese mainland reached 14,380 by the end of Saturday, and a total of 304 people have died of the disease, according to Chinese health authorities.

China's National Immigration Administration has issued a guideline for novel coronavirus prevention in six languages including English, Russian, French, German, Japanese and Korean, for foreigners in China.

Hubei, the epicenter of the outbreak, has launched 24-hour hotlines for foreigners in this central Chinese province.

A number of provinces and cities across China have publicized open letters with epidemic control information to foreign residents, including hospitals designated for treating the epidemic.

Beijing, for instance, set up a hotline in eight foreign languages for its 140,000 foreign residents, according to the Foreign Affairs Office of Beijing Municipal People's Government.

More than 30,000 foreign institutions including over 170 foreign embassies, a large number of foreign-funded companies and international organizations, are based in Beijing, according to the office.

Mohamed Jiahd Mohamed Moustafa from Egypt is now studying as a graduate student at the Communication University of China. The 23-year-old has been in his apartment since the epidemic outbreak.

"Our teachers ask about our situation one by one in China's social media platform WeChat every day, and also issue the latest notices to make sure foreign students can understand the anti-epidemic measures. "

"It is very humane and warm-hearted," he said. "No matter what, I believe China will definitely find a way to solve this problem."

In the southwestern Chinese municipality of Chongqing, life has become "unusually quiet" for Sharon Fraser from New Zealand, who is the general manager of Crowne Plaza Chongqing Jiefangbei.

She said the local government "has been amazing, working so fast and really caring for the people," sending out constant messages, controlling areas and making them "super safe."

"(The government has been) implementing wonderful controls and giving wonderful support to our business. Very understanding of the situation for ours and other businesses," she said.


Facing the novel coronavirus, a large number of foreigners are also joining the battle. Yemen doctor Ammar Albaadani from Yiwu is one of them.

Eastern China's major small commodity hub of Yiwu has about 15,000 foreign merchants from over 100 countries and regions.

Ammar, 40, who works for a local hospital, has returned to work before the holiday, along with thousands of doctors across the city to fight the epidemic.

Besides seeing patients, mostly foreigners, Ammar also helps explain the epidemic control measures taken by governments on social media, in either English or Arabic, to those who do not speak Chinese.

Authorities across China are taking preventive anti-epidemic measures to ensure the treatment of patients and prevent the spread of the disease, said Ammar. "Their efforts offer us, people who live abroad, a great sense of security."

Hendra Kurniawan from Indonesia is an international student at northwest China's Lanzhou University. Together with his Indonesian friends, he has donated 4,700 masks to the Lanzhou University Hospital.

"We are doing our best to send more masks from Indonesia to China. Another 6,000 masks will be delivered next Monday. At this special moment, we should tide over difficulties together," he said.

Muhammad Salman Azhar from Pakistan is a graduate student at the Xiangya School of Medicine of Central South University in central China's Hunan Province. On Jan. 24, he signed a voluntary application to go to Wuhan.

"I am studying medicine in China and I want to do my part to help the country," he said.

Although the volunteer team did not make the trip in the end, he still follows the news of the epidemic every day and tells his friends about the correct ways of wearing masks and washing hands.

Nouh Bentaleb from Morocco is studying at Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute in east China's Jiangxi Province.

To reduce crowds and prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, the university has suggested that students avoid going outside, and Bentaleb is now in charge of purchasing daily necessities for his classmates.

"This is what I should do. In difficult times, we should help each other," he said. "There will be hard days, but they won't last."