Pakistani students, scholars in China continue to weigh in on virus fight

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BEIJING, Feb 14 (APP):Despite the epidemic outbreak of the novel coronavirus pneumonia, some foreigners including Pakistani students and scholars decided to stay in China to express solidarity with the Chinese brethren in the difficult time and support them in their battle against Covid-19.

Muhammad Musa Khan Niazi, a student at Shandong Institute of Commerce and Technology in Jinan, Shandong province told China Daily on Friday that he belonged to Peshawar. He said that coming to China was his dream and fortunately got a chance to study in China.

Musa Khan said that suddenly, he and other students heard the news of an epidemic outbreak of a new virus. At first, they took it too easy but then they saw the horrible news of its real capabilities and boom! But calamity isn’t a thing! Rather fighting it is.

The Chinese nation encountered it with high spirits on such a massive scale that being a witness, he was amazed. They took care of themselves, of the places, used the best technologies and took care of the students more than themselves.

They provided us with free masks, disinfectant, medicine, food at doorsteps, free electricity and moral support. It is a hard time but I’m really impressed by their spirit.

For now, he opined that they were very safe till the epidemic was over. But he was disappointed with some of the international media playing a negative role.

2020 started with calamities such as the Australian bushfires, floods in Venice, earthquakes in Turkey and Japan, a locust outbreak in East Africa and South Asia. So why such a negative portrayal of the coronavirus, he questioned.

He said that the fellow Chinese people were combating it in the best way, adding, I will stay here, will support my friends and will pursue my goals in this safe land of opportunities.

Meanwhile, Haroon Ali, a Pakistani teacher, and director of international students at Shandong Institue of Commerce and Technology also decided to stay in China amid Covid-19.

He said that one month ago, everything was normal. People were preparing for Chinese New Year, and he was making plans to attend his brother’s marriage ceremony in Pakistan at end of January.

But he got news of a virus spreading around Wuhan city and many people getting infected. I received notice from my institute giving strict instruction to all international students. At this critical situation I made the hard decision not to attend my brother’s wedding and stay here in China to help my students.

Sharing his own experiences and observations during the epidemic, he said that he lived in Jinan, which was almost 800 kilometers from Wuhan and added, the situation was not as serious here as Wuhan, but for public safety most supermarkets, malls, cinemas, car workshops, public offices and schools were closed.

He said that public transport was still running but almost without passengers, and few private cars could be seen on roads. As everyone had to stay at home, the main issue was availability of food and medical facilities.

The local government had made a system to provide access to all kinds of necessities. People could buy things online and had them delivered in a few hours.

Haroon Ali appreciated Chinese government, which was doing its best to fight in a critical epidemic situation. He also appreciated his institute as well, which was working hard day and night for international students. Food was being provided inside dormitories and physical check-ups were being done continuously on all students.

All teachers frequently connect with students who returned home or elsewhere. International students living in dormitories cannot go out at the moment, so I am helping them buy all kinds of food items and other daily necessities from the supermarket. I explain different safety precautions to them for virus prevention and protection. In order to refresh their minds, I teach them Chinese and their major courses as well.

He said that most students parents were worried about their kids. I often talk with them just to tell them about the current situation and remind them to be strong and stand with China, their children’ s second homeland, which is giving them advanced learning opportunities.

He said that they were keeping eyes on China and hoping for a fast recovery. I have been living in China for the past four years. I deeply know local government and their abilities.

He believed everything would be normal in the next few weeks, and said, We all know everyone is making an effort in their own way.

All the international community, especially Pakistanis, stand with China and will support the Chinese government and their remarkable efforts during this epidemic.