Speaking in fluent Mandarin, Czech Republic native Zuzana Pavlonova and her companions offer instructions like, "Scan the QR code to register for nucleic acid testing" and "Please keep a one-meter distance", while doing service work at a nucleic acid testing site in Yundang sub-district, Siming district, Xiamen, East China's Fujian province on Sept 22.
As the foreign director assistant of Guanren Community, Pavlonova works 12 hours a day at the nucleic acid testing site from 8:00 in the morning.
While the recent sudden COVID-19 outbreak has disrupted people's lives, foreigners in Xiamen have not panicked. At Guanren Community, volunteers from Serbia, Mexico, Spain, India, and other countries help take people's temperatures at the gate of the community or work four-hour shifts at the nucleic acid testing site.
Having been living in Xiamen for six years, Pavlonova also translates government notices into English and sends them to foreigners living in the city every day. She also receives dozens of inquiries from foreigners daily.
Since foreigners don't have ID cards, their health codes are different from those of Chinese people, and there is a language barrier, which often makes it difficult for them to enter public venues. To address this issue, Pavlonova recorded a video in Mandarin so that foreigners can explain their situation to the security guards at public venues more easily.
For Pavlonova, the volunteer work is not boring. On the contrary, she and other foreign volunteers are often moved by the heatstroke prevention materials and drinks given to them as gifts by nearby residents. "Xiamen is a warm and friendly city. I have been living here for many years, and already am a member of the city," she said.
Thomas Karavasilis, who is from Greece and has been doing business in Xiamen for nine years, has also contributed to the fight against COVID-19. On Sept 22, he donated 100 meals to two nucleic acid testing sites for frontline medical workers.
"As a foreigner who has been living in Xiamen for many years, I have long felt integrated in the city. In the face of the COVID-19 epidemic, we should help each other. We believe with the correct guidance of the government, the epidemic will surely be overcome," he said.
To ensure a prompt and effective identification and control of the infection sources, curb the spread of the virus, and protect people's life and health, special nucleic acid testing (NAT) service will be arranged for yellow health code holders from September 27 to 29, 2021.
All people in Xiamen shall take nucleic acid tests on September 25.