African students discuss life after Wuhan lockdown | #students | #parents

Tiando Damien (left) and his ‘Iron Man’ volunteer team give out supplies to international students in Wuhan, Hubei province, in February. LUO JINGANG/FOR CHINA DAILY

The Chinese government has displayed a sense of responsibility, a quick response to people’s needs and the ability to manage and coordinate during the COVID-19 epidemic, especially during the days when Wuhan, the hardest hit city on the Chinese mainland, was sealed off last year, said African students who stayed at their universities in Wuhan during the outbreak.

Tiandos Damien, a PhD candidate in land resources management at China University of Geosciences who is from Benin, said he was scared when the COVID-19 epidemic first hit the city, fearing it could get out of control.

He soon found campus life remained orderly, with everyone doing a good job to contain the virus, including daily temperature measurements, regular disinfections and inspections, explanations of epidemic prevention methods and online management and assistance.

“With the help of the school, we foreign students quickly stabilized our emotions … at the same time, I have seen through the news that the Chinese government has taken many decisive measures to control the epidemic,” Damien said. “People from all parts of China are united in the fight against the epidemic.”

He was speaking at a forum in Wuhan on Thursday organized by the China-Africa Institute, the Hubei Provincial Foreign Affairs Office and China University Of Geosciences.

About 50 students from Africa who are studying at universities in Wuhan gathered to share their memories of life in the city, the capital of Hubei province, exactly one year since its 76-day lockdown was lifted.

More than 600 experts, professors and African students studying in China participated in the event online.

Another PhD candidate at China University of Geosciences, Mamodson Zafiniaina Adore from Madagascar, told the forum it was normal to worry when the city was locked down, but foreign students soon recognized that the Chinese government, which they all trusted, had made the right decision.

“Since the very beginning of the situation, we have not doubted the necessity and the effectiveness of the rules and decisions taken by the Chinese authorities to prevent the spread of the epidemic and to protect people,” he said.

“Like other international students, I had confidence and trust that the Chinese government and our university could protect us and deal with the whole situation.”

Adore said the Chinese government had proved its power and strength, as well as its ability to solve problems and protect people through good management.

Its efforts didn’t end when the epidemic was brought under control, he added, with the ongoing vaccination drive “a big step” taken by the government to further ensure people’s safety and health.

Having been vaccinated, Adore said: “I was so excited on the day of the vaccination and hoped that someday, my family, friends and my whole country could do so.”

Maimuna Iddy Abdy, a Tanzanian student pursuing a master’s degree in linguistics and literature in foreign languages at China University of Geosciences, said she had seen the trust that Chinese people had in the work of the government, which was the magic weapon that helped China defeat the pandemic.

After seeing the Chinese government provide various materials for people and deal with a shortage of medical resources by quickly setting up hospitals in a few days and recruiting doctors and nurses from all over the country to ensure that patients were treated effectively, Abdy said she was moved by the way it fought the virus.

“China has also made great efforts to help many African countries, including my home country Tanzania, fight the novel coronavirus,” she said.

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