Chinese communities overseas have been working with people in China to help gather donations for other countries in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Italy is fighting the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the world. Restaurants, businesses, and schools have been suspended. Although quarantined at home, many Chinese have chosen to lend their hand in the battle against the pandemic.
Chen, a young volunteer, has organized the Chinese community in Bologna to make donations. Within 48 hours, Chen and fellow volunteers received 21,731 Euros from the local Chinese community, made up of 56 children and 111 adults. The children donated their lucky money they received from their parents or grandparents during the Chinese Lunar New Year. The money was donated to the Sant’orsola Hospital in Bologna.
Qiu Nan, who also helped with the donation efforts, told the Global Times that many Chinese people in Italy had shared their spare face masks, which have been in high demand due to shortages, with their neighbors, colleagues, and friends. Some, including Qiu, have handed out face masks to strangers on the street.
The local Chinese Chamber of Commerce donated 30,000 face masks to local medical institutes, Qiu said. “Our face masks are purchased and mailed from China,” Qiu added, “Via local Chinese people, the government here also have been seeking to purchase medical supplies from China.”
Chinese communities in the UK have helped with local prevention efforts in the fight against COVID-19. For example, Chinese doctors issued a bilingual statement in Chinese and English at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, calling for donations.
Li, a Chinese-British man in London, told the Global Times that many Chinese are engaged in coordinating donations from China to the UK, aiming to help with shortages of face masks, protective gear, goggles, and gloves.
Spain is also facing a dire situation. The country announced on March 26 that it has received 8,578 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours, bringing the nationwide infection number to 56,188. Sun Xinbo, who is also president of a Chinese student association, said many Chinese in Spain offered to help the locals and donated face masks to local people and hospitals.
Last week, Chinese communities near Madrid gathered 3,000 medical face masks and donated them to a local hospital. Aside from donations, some Chinese made short videos to educate people on fighting the virus and maintaining hygiene.
Recently, Wuhan University alumni associations in Chinese cities issued a statement calling for donations for North America and Europe as countries in both regions are combating COVID-19.
“We still remember when medical personnel in Wuhan were short of medical supplies, our alumni overseas offered help and sent medical supplies. Now, the epidemic is rampant overseas, so we are raising donations for them,” the statement said.
One Wuhan University alumni association member in Beijing told the Global Times they are communicating with fellow alumni abroad to learn about the protective medical equipment supplies that are needed so they can be sent to hospitals.