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Italians confident about China's battle against coronavirus

(Xinhua)    16:09, February 25, 2020

GUANGZHOU, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- Luigi Cormaci, an Italian trader living in the city of Foshan, south China's Guangdong Province, had a different Spring Festival with his family this year.

"This year's Spring Festival is cheerless, but as foreigners in China, we do feel warm," Luigi said.

The novel coronavirus outbreak started in central China's Hubei Province. But the deadly virus soon spread across the country.

To contain the contagion, Chinese provinces and regions rolled out a series of policies, while Guangdong Province, one of the country's major economic powerhouses, activated a level I public health emergency response to control the epidemic on Jan. 23, two days before the Spring Festival.

Cities in Guangdong, including Foshan, canceled all commercial celebrations and traditional New Year activities.

Luigi has been working in China since 2004. In 2014, he came to Foshan with his wife. For the past six years, celebrating the Spring Festival has been an annual tradition, like Christmas. But without cheers and jubilation, this year's Spring Festival left Luigi a profound impression.

In the following days, a multilingual notice was issued by Luigi's community for foreign residents, informing them to strengthen epidemic prevention and control and avoid outdoor activities.

Romeo Mattia, from Milan, who lives in neighboring Guangzhou, the capital city of Guangdong Province, also received a similar notice.

Romeo said that apart from the community's anti-epidemic efforts, the provincial government and the consulate general of Italy in Guangzhou also took actions to guarantee the safety of Italians amid the outbreak.

In addition, communities also checked their temperature, and foreign residents were asked to report their health conditions online.

Luigi said that China's urgent response and warm notices alleviated his anxiety about the virus. "My family in Italy was worried, but I didn't panic."

In 2003, when SARS broke out in China, Luigi was on a business trip in north China's Tianjin Municipality, which neighbors Beijing, one the worse-hit areas. He said China won the battle against SARS and he is confident in China's actions' against the new virus.

It should be a family reunion time for Chinese, but they made a great sacrifice by staying at home, Luigi said.

He said Chinese have also demonstrated their solidarity, selflessness and kindness throughout the epidemic.

"A courier gave me a face mask when I collected my package without wearing my own," Luigi said. "Chinese people always help each other, especially when they cope with a common challenge."

Luigi believes the virus will be defeated soon, and the finish line is in sight.

Guangdong lowered its emergency response on Monday, a positive sign in one of the most populous provinces.

Lucia Pasqualini, consul general of Italy in Guangzhou, said previously in an interview, "We all stand together undertaking the same mission. I am sure China is going to overcome this very difficult situation."

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Zhao Tong, Bianji)

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