Generous support in fighting epidemic pours in from overseas
Expats and foreign organizations have been showing their support in the fight against the novel coronavirus, according to the Shanghai People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.
“I hope you and your family are all keeping well. Everything absolutely fine at the Consulate. Municipal Government providing great support on the ground for our community,” Therese Healy, consul general of Ireland in Shanghai, wrote in a message to Sha Hailin, chairman of the association.
Nestor Enrique Torres Olivera, consul general of Cuba in Shanghai, said: “We’re confident that the Chinese government and Chinese people will win the battle against the epidemic.”
Brigitte Robinson-Seyrlehner, the Austrian consul general, said: “Let’s stay together. My colleagues and I highly respect the swift response by the Chinese government. All our diplomats are staying in Shanghai and we’re always ready to serve you and the Austrians. We believe everything will be OK soon.”
Consul General of Uruguay in Shanghai Leonardo Olivera also sent similar messages.
About 40 foreign organizations and enterprises, including the associations of friendships between China and Montenegro, Switzerland, Austria, New Zealand, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Tunisia, Osaka in Japan and Muscatine in the US, as well as the Egyptian dragon boat association and the association of Japanese winners of Shanghai’s Magnolia Awards, have all sent messages to the friendship association.
The Indian community in Shanghai, which has organized blood donations in the city for seven years, said: “We are all in Shanghai. We would like to extend our greetings to friends in Shanghai, Hubei Province and China. Stay healthy! Go China!”
Some foreigners overseas also expressed their best wishes. Some schools and organizations have made videos, in which people wave national flags of China and posters and cheer for China and Shanghai.
Murayama Tomiichi, 96, former Japanese prime minister, sent a video to the Shanghai People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, in which he wrote down “Go China! Go Wuhan! Go Shanghai!”
Nishiyama Akihiko, the 88th abbot of Toshoudaiji Temple, said in his video: “My Chinese friends, I wish you pull through soon. The Toshoudaiji Temple is behind you.”
Some foreign enterprises have also made donations.
Atlas Copco has contacted the association to donate 1 million yuan (US$143,000) to the Shanghai Charity Foundation to purchase facilities such as breathing machines for Shanghai Huashan Hospital.
With help from the association, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance (China) Ltd has contacted the Shanghai branch of Red Cross Society of China and plans to donate 2,000 bottles of hand sanitizer.
According to the association, Nippon Express is purchasing 50,000 face masks in Japan and 2,000 bottles of disinfectant in China and will donate them to Shanghai.
Heinz Fischer, former Austrian president and now chairman of the association of friendship between Austria and China, delivered a speech on February 1, saying Austria will try to help as much as possible.
He said: “We are confident that if everyone tries their best, it will be possible to contain this disease as soon as possible and then eliminate it. Chinese people should know that small Austria also shares these concerns, and wishes the Chinese health authorities the best of success.”
In a letter to Li Xiaosi, Chinese ambassador to Austria, Fischer wrote that he had contacted the Austrian authorities to assist China while the association he led had launched fundraising activities and would purchase badly needed medical supplies soon.
“Chinese people are not alone. Austrian people are staying with you!” he added.