TAIYUAN, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- Over the past New Year holiday, Charvvey Nuryagdy, a Turkmen student in Taiyuan, north China's Shanxi Province, felt the city has regained its vigor and vitality with growing crowds at shopping malls and on the streets.
Seven years ago, Nuryagdy came to China to study international politics at Shanxi University. The past three years gave him an up-close look at how the college and local authorities responded to COVID-19.
"In the face of varied situations, the Chinese government has always given top priority to people's lives," said the 25-year-old.
Like most people, Nuryagdy was worried about the unknown virus when it first emerged, but his university's active response, including providing timely updates on the development of the pandemic and monitoring students' body temperatures on a daily basis, quickly reassured him.
"I'm glad I made the decision to stay in the college instead of traveling back home," he said.
Since then, Nuryagdy has followed COVID-related information closely online. When he saw the news that more than 40,000 medical workers from all over the country rushed to help combat the novel coronavirus in Hubei Province in early 2020, he was deeply impressed.
"People from all walks of life were also playing their part. I read about truck drivers who traveled thousands of miles to transport medical supplies and construction workers who worked day and night to build the 1,000-bed Huoshenshan Hospital for treating COVID-19 cases in just 10 days," said Nuryagdy.
At the same time, he said, China has never ceased to develop vaccines and promote vaccination. Like his classmates, Nuryagdy completed two jabs in 2021.
The nucleic acid testing kiosks installed on city streets last year provide free and easy tests, which he believes have helped contain the spread of the virus.
As China has recently entered a new phase of COVID response based on the Omicron variant's characteristics, Nuryagdy noticed that some of the kiosks had been transformed into fever clinics, helping people get prescriptions and medicine more easily.
"Experts are frequently telling people how to deal with infection, and pharmaceutical manufacturers have ramped up production of drugs," he said. "I can see that China is effectively responding to the current COVID situation."
In the past three years, Nuryagdy started his postgraduate program at Shanxi University and made trips around China during vacations, which cemented his interest in Chinese culture and knowledge of modern China.
"By the Yellow River, I saw not only a splendid view but also an improved ecological environment. I also saw that local people have gained better lives," he said. "These made me understand more of the Chinese government's people-centered governance philosophy."
With the Lunar New Year just around the corner, Nuryagdy plans to celebrate it in the countryside this year.
"The Spring Festival has a special meaning of bidding farewell to the past and ushering in a new chapter in life. I hope we can overcome the pandemic in the coming year and people can make breakthroughs in their study and work," said Nuryagdy. ■