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African medical professionals help Chinese public tackle COVID-19 pandemic

   People's Daily Online   16:03, June 28, 2020

Serving as a center for China’s global manufacturing and commerce, Wenzhou is a city where different cultures meet and blend. Hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, African medical professionals living and working in the city have chosen to stay in their “second-hometown” to tackle the lethal virus, as well as share China’s experience in curbing the spread of COVID-19 with their own countries.

Hosany Sumayyah, a Mauritian doctor working at Panhealth Medical Center in Wenzhou, served as volunteer at the city’s highway exit checkpoint for 22 days. Her husband, Zahir Hamad, a doctor from Pakistan, has been helping local authorities check identity information and measure the body temperatures of drivers and passengers, as well as providing locals with useful medical knowledge to avoid the virus.

Mauritian Hosany Sumayyah measures body temperature for a driver at a novel coronavirus prevention-and-control checkpoint of an expressway exit in Wenzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province, Feb. 8, 2020.(Xinhua_Weng Xinyang)

"We must do something," said the couple, who fell in love while receiving their higher education in China, adding, "China is our second hometown. We hope the epidemic ends soon and people can get back to their normal life."

On March 18th, as the first three COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Mauritius, rumors and fear began to spread throughout the local communities. Sumayyah made several video clips on Mauritian social media platforms, sharing the knowledge and experience she gained in tackling COVID-19 in China with the Mauritanian public. Her family, who urged her to come back home when the COVID-19 outbreak took place in Wenzhou, are now fully supportive of her choice to stay, encouraging her to share her experience with those who are in need.

Sumayyah’s service in China was recognized and repaid by Wenzhou authorities and the public. Her plea for needed medical equipment and medicine for her home country was approved and supported by the hospital where she works, along with support from several other Chinese cities. Since April 18, countless medical products have been sent to Mauritius, with Nando Bodha, the country’s minister of foreign affairs, praising China for its generous help.

“China has been trying its best to help tackle the pandemic. No matter where you come from, we are all together in this fight against COVID-19,” Sumayyah said.

Percy David PaPa Akuetteh, a doctoral candidate at Wenzhou Medical University, also made the choice to stay in China when the outbreak took place, and has been helping his community take the temperature of visitors and assist foreigners in need of medical treatment.

Percy David PaPa Akuetteh(L), a doctoral candidate at Wenzhou Medical University, also made the choice to stay in China when the outbreak took place.

“China is doing a great job to tackle the virus, no other nations can gather so many resources to tackle the virus in such a short period,” he said.