After a simple rinse in the morning, Simpara Dianquine, from Mali, opened his hotel room door to pick up his breakfast, which was already waiting at the doorstep.
Together with 36 other foreigners, Dianquine, a university student majoring in accounting in south China’s Guangzhou, was undergoing a 14-day medical observation at the Shanshui Trends Hotel, Baiyun District of the city.
Last month, the Guangzhou municipal government ordered all inbound travelers to undergo nucleic acid testing and a 14-day home observation or concentrated medical observation, measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic.
By the end of Wednesday, Guangzhou had reported 39 confirmed COVID-19 cases among foreign citizens. Another 102 of them were found to be asymptomatic cases, according to the Guangzhou Municipal Health Commission.
At the seven-story hotel, 48 medical, hotel and community workers, as well as volunteers in protective gear, are available to assist those under observation around the clock.
Yang Qing, an interpreter at the hotel, left her WeChat and phone number with all the foreign guests. She also organized a WeChat group chat for the staff and quarantined guests to maintain interaction.”In the beginning, several people were not used to the Chinese-style food, so we altered the menu to add milk, bread and more fruits,” said Yang.
Dianquine said he was able to contact the workers via WeChat messages or phone calls whenever he needed help. “I’m satisfied with the life here,” he said.Located in one of the busiest blocks in the city, the hotel is surrounded by a variety of dining choices.
Some of the foreigners order themselves via their phone, and the service staff will help deliver the food to their doorsteps.”Sometimes, they will ask us for recommendations,” Yang said, adding that in addition to Western favorites like burgers and pizza, she recommended local specialties.
At 8 a.m. every day, the hotel and community workers disinfect themselves thoroughly before delivering food, collecting garbage and registering the needs of the expatriates.
They also assist the medical team in taking temperatures.Zhang Wuqiong, a community worker, said they had to follow strict procedures from the very moment the guests arrived for quarantine to the moment of the guests’ departure.
Used mops and cleaning cloths will be soaked in disinfectant for 30 minutes, and the surface of personal belongings and furniture need disinfecting twice a day, according to Zhang.”Tiring as it is, we feel fulfilled making contributions to the fight against the virus,” she said.
At the Relaxed Life Hotel, another designated site for medical observation, forms and documents are translated into English, Korean and French to eliminate communication barriers. As of April 15, the hotel had received 446 inbound travelers, including 285 foreigners.
Luo Chunming, deputy chief of the emergency management bureau of Baiyun District, said the procedures were the same for all individuals under medical observation, no matter what their nationalities are.
“On one hand, the service workers acknowledge and respect different cultural and social customs of the quarantined people, and on the other hand, they have to make sure that all of them are properly isolated and protected from cross-infection,” said Luo.
According to Luo, a total of 5,112 Chinese and foreign citizens have undergone medical observation in 17 hotels in the district, including 1,397 who are still being isolated. Guests will receive their nucleic acid testing reports when they check out.
After his quarantine ended, Chancel Moushidi, a student from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, filled out some forms with the assistance of the workers, expressed thanks and waved goodbye.
Dianquine is also expected to leave soon. He expressed his gratitude to the staff through WeChat messages.He said the proactive anti-epidemic measures taken by the Chinese government were a responsible act and had given him faith in the nation’s ability to defeat the virus.”I can see the efforts taken by the public in Guangzhou. Let’s join together in the fight against the virus,” he said.