Life continues for foreign students in Anhui

Updated:Feb 11,2020 11:18 AM Xinhua

HEFEI, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- It was the first time for Victor Kutsaira, a 25-year-old student from Malawi, to celebrate his birthday without friends around after living in China for eight years. Shooting a vlog turned out to be an alternative way to make the day memorable during the novel coronavirus epidemic in China.

"The school is basically empty. School staff check my body temperature before I leave the dormitory building," said Kutsaira in his video, who is pursuing his master's degree in business administration at Hefei University of Technology (HFUT) in east China's Anhui Province.

He is one of 115 overseas students still in Hefei, capital of Anhui, during the Spring Festival holiday, which was extended due to the novel coronavirus epidemic.

"I check the news every day after I get up in the morning. I know what the government is doing and have confidence in the precautionary measures," said Kutsaira, adding that he was deeply impressed by the makeshift hospital that was built in 10 days in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.

In order to protect foreign students from the virus and contain its spread, the school has taken measures such as disinfecting the dormitory building twice a day, providing free face masks and sharing relevant information on disease prevention in their WeChat group in both Chinese and English. Students are advised to stay on campus and reduce outings as much as possible.

"We send a questionnaire in their WeChat group every week. If they need anything from outside, they can write it down and we will try to get that for them," said Hu Mengjie, the education director of international students of HFUT.

"I ordered some potatoes, garlic, eggs, and Chinese cabbage last week. The school bought me the food," said Yasir Ammar, a 29-year-old Ph.D. candidate from Pakistan.

"The vegetables are distributed by the school for free. At this tough time, we are very grateful," Kutsaira said in his video while cooking.

Last week, the school purchased more than 550 kg of vegetables and 3,200 eggs for 70 students.

"I am preparing my thesis recently. I watch movies and have video-chats with my girlfriend who is also in Anhui during my spare time," Ammar said.

There are 12 students from Pakistan in the university. "I am not alone. I often call my parents and reassure them that I am doing well in China," said Ammar. "I am sure the virus will be over soon."

"Doctors and nurses are working around the clock at the frontline of the battle against the epidemic. The best way to support them is to stay at home and not bring them any trouble. That is what we can do at least," said Makhdomzada Muhammad Hasan, a student from Afghanistan.