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Unity in the face of COVID-19

Nobody is safe until everyone is safe. The need for unity and cooperation is pivotal to our safety in the face of COVID-19.

Since March 2022, Shanghai has been on a phased lockdown to combat an omicron variant COVID-19 outbreak. Residents are required to stay at home except for essential activities. The city has reported more than 300 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases, and more than 19,000 local asymptomatic infections, said the Shanghai Health Commission on Thursday morning. This is the biggest outbreak in Shanghai.

Both Shanghai residents and international students studying in Shanghai are concerned about the lockdown. “Shanghai University has implemented timely control and prevention measures to cope with the highly contagious and elusive Omicron variant to ensure the health and safety of students, faculty and staff on campus,” said Deputy Dean of the College of International Education, Prof. Chen Xiumeng.

The teachers are still conducting online classes. The staffs are working around the clock to meet the students’ daily needs. So far, Shanghai University has organized more than a dozen rounds of school-wide mass testing, said Prof. Chen.

The incident has saddened not only the hearts of Shanghai residents, but also those of international students studying in Shanghai. Samuel Aron Issak, a PhD candidate from Eritrea said that he is deeply disheartened by the incident, especially given that the outbreak has disrupted everyone’s life. But he is also impressed by Shanghai University’s staff’s resilience and dedication. When his family and friends call to check on him, he assures them that he is in good hands and that they should not be concerned.

Samuel further said that, “the abnormal situation that he is going through seems less significant when compared to the great sacrifices the people of Shanghai are making, particularly the sacrifices of medical workers who are at the forefront of the fight”.

Yaluk Elly, a PhD student from Kenya and one of the University’s volunteer students, said that he considers the current situation as a battle. “This seems like a war. During war times we sometimes have to put our lives on the line for the sake of our fellow students and for the benefit and safety of everyone”.

Every day, Elly takes this challenge with a lot of joy and gladness of heart. Elly stated that whatever has a beginning also has an end, and he believes that the current situation is temporary and it will come to an end soon.

Elly urges his colleagues to continue to fight and also have positive thoughts and mindset in all things at all time.

Another PhD student from Myanmar Su Mon said that “she went to hospital during school lockdown, but she needs to follow the rules of the pandemic prevention”.

She needs to stay at the hotel which is arranged by university as temporary residence for quarantine and need to do the nucleic acid test two times within 48 hrs then she can apply for back to school.

While she was in quarantine at the hotel, healthcare works, teacher and Chinese volunteers were very nice to her, and took care of her very well. And she felt like she was not lonely during her quarantine.

Further, Su Mon said that at the hospital, doctors were very kind and they helped her a lot. She is thankful to local volunteers, teachers, and doctors who have helped her during this time of difficulty.

The pandemic has presented us with a real challenge, forcing us to unite and work together. In Shanghai University, over 7,000 prevention and control activities have been conducted by volunteers, with teachers, staffs, and students all actively participating in the fight against the outbreak. With all of these efforts, it is expected that the virus will be eradicated and the campus will return to normalcy soon.

Source: Lao News Agency