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Foreign residents help keep Suzhou safe

By CANG WEI in Nanjing | China Daily | Updated: 2022-02-23 09:05
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Bethany and Jeff Sootheran (wearing red jackets) work as volunteers at a residential community in Suzhou. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Yoo Sunyeob, a Korean national in Suzhou in Jiangsu province, has once again volunteered with other foreign residents at nucleic acid testing sites to help what they all refer to as "their hometown" in its battle to contain the virus.

He has been volunteering at the Tianyu residential community testing site in the Suzhou Industrial Park since Valentine's Day. Together with a team of foreign volunteers, which he helped found last June, Yoo helps with translations, registration and maintaining order at the site.

They start at around 7 am and finish only after all the day's testing is done in the afternoon.

"I've been living in Suzhou for 17 years," Yoo said. "For me, it is now my hometown. I'm happy to volunteer to guarantee its safety."

In June, the team helped 8,000 Korean residents in the city with vaccinations, putting in some 2,000 hours of service.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Suzhou had reported 102 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and 25 asymptomatic cases in its latest outbreak.

As one of the key cities in the Yangtze River Delta, the city is home to about 17,000 foreign companies and nearly 30,000 foreign residents. Many have volunteered with virus prevention work, especially since the outbreak has led to schools and offices being closed, giving workers free time.

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