Award-winning expats join fight against coronavirus
Despite the coronavirus outbreak, Harmen Dubbelaar, general manager of Okura Garden Hotel Shanghai, returned to the city right after the Spring Festival holiday to ensure the safe operation of the prestigious hotel.
The winner of Shanghai's Magnolia Award, an honor for expatriates who make outstanding contributions to the city, has led management and staff at the hotel in carrying out prevention measures since mid-January.
Enhanced disinfection measures have been conducted in rooms and public areas, while customers and all staff are receiving temperature checks to ensure safety.
"It is my duty to stand with colleagues and customers to offer all kinds of support and reduce the impact of the epidemic," Dubbelaar said. The Garden Hotel must take responsibility for its customers, staff and the historic structure, he added.
As a landmark historical site, the annex building of the former French Club dating back to 1926 features an elegant Baroque style and rich European Continental cultural atmosphere.
Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19), local Magnolia Award winners in Huangpu District and their companies have been making contributions and fighting against the epidemic along with the Chinese people.
They belong to a newly founded group, the Magnolia Huangpu Club, which was initiated by Claude Maillot, chief executive of Marine & Offshore North Asia Zone and China, Bureau Veritas Marine (China) Co, in 2019 to expand their contributions to the city. Maillot was the winner of the Magnolia Gold Award last year and the Silver Award in 2016.
Though the hotel and dining industry have suffered great influence since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pneumonia, Dubbelaar said he believed both the epidemic and its impact would be temporary.
He has asked all hotel staff to strictly obey public health guidance from the government and the hotel group. Training sessions have also been arranged to enhance the skills of the hotel crew.
Dubbelaar said he feels safe in Shanghai with its timely, effective measures and he hopes the Chinese people can stay positive and healthy.
The companies of Magnolia Award winners have also been donating money and materials to epidemic-affected regions.
The board of directors of Deloitte Public Welfare Foundation donated 500,000 yuan (US$71,246) to the charity federation of Wuhan, the heart of the epidemic.
Pernod Ricard donated 2 million yuan to the China Charity Federation to set up a special fund for medical staff.
Sony Group donated a million yuan to the China Charity Federation, while CapitaLand Group announced the donation of 10 million yuan to set up a For Tomorrow and Health charity fund.
Canon, through the National Health and Health Commission of China, donated CT equipment worth 3 million yuan to Tongji Hospital in Wuhan for the clinical diagnosis of coronavirus pneumonia.
Canon Medical also opened green channels and ensures adequate supply of medical equipment parts to hospitals across the country. Its engineers and after-sales service teams are standing by around the clock to offer assistance.
Friesland donated 4 million yuan worth of materials and a million yuan in cash through the China Women's Development Foundation.
Coty Inc donated 1.5 million yuan to the China Red Cross Foundation to support the fight against the novel coronavirus epidemic.