China Focus: Amid epidemic, international students live in China with calm, confidence

Source: Xinhua| 2020-02-03 16:35:40|Editor: huaxia

CHANGSHA, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- Over the Spring Festival holiday, 23-year-old Mohamed Jiahd Mohamed Moustafa has been reporting his health condition to his mother in Egypt every day.

"Don't worry mom, I'm fine!" Moustafa, a graduate student at the Communication University of China in Beijing, said to his mother via WeChat video call.

For this Spring Festival, he decided to stay in China despite repeated calls from his family who were worried about the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

"My family has been watching the news about the novel coronavirus every day, and they are worried," he said. "But I told them nothing would happen to me, and even if it happens, people here will certainly help me."

His confidence was justified. After the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the school immediately communicated with Moustafa, and the teachers would contact the international students one by one via WeChat, telling them to call as soon as they feel unwell, and updating the students with the latest notices so that they could keep abreast of the situation and latest preventive measures.

Moustafa lives in an apartment in Beijing's Chaoyang District, and his apartment is disinfected every day. "It's a very scientific and thoughtful measure," he said, adding that the strict supervision for wearing masks gave him a greater sense of security when he went to the supermarket for supplies on Saturday.

His family was reassured by the news that the World Health Organization (WHO) officials were praising China's response to the epidemic.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday that China deserves the international community's gratitude and respect for having taken very serious measures to contain the novel coronavirus outbreak and prevent exporting cases overseas. He also praised China for its solidarity and cooperation with WHO and other countries.

"I also told my family that China would build a hospital in Wuhan in about 10 days for treating the confirmed patients, they were surprised as it would normally take years to build a hospital in my country," he said.

Thousands of miles away in Changsha, capital of central China's Hunan province, the epidemic is similarly grim. Muhammad Salman Azhar, a graduate student from Pakistan at the Xiangya Medical School of Central South University, has signed a voluntary commitment to support Wuhan anytime.

"I'm studying medicine in China and want to try my best to help China," he said adding that his parents in Pakistan were worried about his health, but he has been explaining to his parents about the latest progress of the epidemic and a series of measures taken by the Chinese government.

Although he did not go to Wuhan to help as he wished, he has been trying to do his part by telling his friends about the correct ways of wearing masks and washing hands.

"I'm surprised that China can quickly mobilize medical personnel and allocate professional equipment to cities with serious situations. China has taken a lot of measures such as delaying work and school," he said. "I believe China can definitely contain the epidemic."