Foreigners aid control work in Shenzhen
Luca Baroli, an Italian who has lived in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, for almost six years, has been working as a volunteer at a nucleic acid testing center in the Guiyuan community in the city's Luohu district since last month.
He works about two hours each time, helping guide residents to scan the venue code and check their health codes at the center.
"My workload is nothing, when compared to the medical workers who have been working longer hours," he told Shenzhen Daily. "I want to help reduce their work pressure."
Baroli said his attachment to Shenzhen made him willing to become part of the volunteer force to support the city's fight against COVID-19.
Shenzhen has sealed all communities, villages and industrial zones and suspended bus and metro services from Monday to Sunday due to the latest outbreak.
The city has also launched citywide nucleic acid testing for all residents, asking them to take the test three times within seven days.
On Monday, the city reported 60 new local cases, of which 21 were asymptomatic carriers, local health authorities said.
"Although I am a foreigner, I am not an outsider," Baroli said. "I have done nothing different compared to Chinese volunteers who are lending helping hands in this battle against the novel coronavirus outbreak."
Baroli is one of an increasing number of foreigners working and living in Shenzhen who have joined the volunteer force since the city began its prevention and control efforts against the COVID-19 outbreak.
Shenzhen's official volunteer platform has recruited over 24,000 people to join the city's anti-epidemic efforts since Spring Festival, according to the local committee of the Communist Youth League of China.
Of the registered volunteers, 351 are from Hong Kong and Macao, while more than 200 foreign volunteers have joined the city's fight against COVID-19 since February.
Raffaele Capuano, an Italian chef, said hard work by local medical workers during the fight against COVID-19 had touched him a lot.
"They've worked really hard. We are happy that we could do something helpful," said Capuano, who delivered dozens of pizzas to medical personnel working on the front line in Futian district.
Capuano, who has lived and worked in Shenzhen for eight years, has not visited Italy for three years due to the pandemic.
"The city of Shenzhen has done very well in the prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic. I feel safe here," he said.