Expats in Chengdu join Chinese volunteers in fight against coronavirus

Published:  3 Feb at 6 PM
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International expat volunteers are now joining the war against the coronavirus epidemic.

Expats living and working in China are joining the ongoing struggle against the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus. In China’s Sichuan province capital Chengdu, international volunteers are now participating in the city’s attempt to control the local spread of the new virus. The city’s Tongzilin residential community is the largest and most concentrated hub for Chengdu’s 4,300 expatriates from over 30 world countries.

A group of volunteers are now visiting residents, taking their temperatures and asking if they’ve recently visited Wuhan, the centre of the virus outbreak. Another important activity by the team of volunteers is to spread knowledge about the virus and its symptoms as well as how to avoid becoming infected and what to do should symptoms appear. Learning about problems being caused to expats by China’s virtual closure to travellers and helping to find possible solutions is another part of the volunteers’ activities.

Chengdu's government itself doesn’t have enough staff who’re proficient enough in the English language to advise and help residents with their needs, with the volunteers playing a major part in keeping the expat community informed of any changes. First formed in 2018, the international volunteer alliance also helps expats participate in their communities and the group is now playing a major part in keeping international residents informed and as safe as possible as the infection continues to spread.

A recent online appeal by the organisers resulted in 160 new volunteers, many of whom were recent arrivals in the city, with both Chinese and expat volunteers being trained in self-protecting measures as well as being advised to keep their distances from residents, especially those who may be infected.
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