Local authorities in Shanghai are reaching out to inform foreign residents about measures to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Zhang Jie, a police officer from the Zhongshan Road N. police station, has been posting English-language notices for foreign residents in the residential complex where she serves. She got the idea after receiving a call for help on February 1 from a residential committee official from Brilliant City, a large residential community in Putuo District.
The official said that she and her colleagues met four foreigners with luggage in that residential complex while routinely registering all residents who returned from out of town. Due to the language barrier, they couldn’t communicate with them on the necessity of registration.
Zhang accompanied the official back to the residential complex and interpreted for the foreigners, who then readily registered themselves.
Since Xiangyi Huacheng, the residential complex where Zhang serves, also has foreign residents, she wrote an English-language notice for them too. The next day, she posted relevant information on notice boards in every residential building, and visited foreign residents in person to notify them of community measures to contain the coronavirus.
The notice asks people who have traveled from Wuhan to contact the police as soon as possible. It also informs those traveling from Hubei, Guangdong, Zhejiang, Henan, Hunan, Anhui, Sichuan and Jiangxi provinces and from Chongqing to stay home under isolation for 14 days. People who traveled from other provinces and cities in China to Shanghai are asked to stay in isolation home for seven days.
Foreign residents are also advised to stay at home as much as possible and to wear masks when going outside.
Police in Putuo District said similar notices will later be found in all residential complexes in the district with foreign residents.
Hotline for foreigners
From February 2, the city’s service hotline 12345 started to offer consultations in English, Japanese, Korean, French, German, Spanish and Russian.
Sixteen volunteers joined two English-speaking hotline workers to stand by from 8am to 8pm every day. Calls will be first taken by English-speaking hotline workers, and then forwarded to interpreters of other languages if necessary.
The volunteers are available to answer questions about the city's measures against the spread of coronavirus, as well as other questions about government services.
After-hours calls to the center will be forwarded to Shanghai's foreign affairs office.
Meanwhile, from February 1, the foreign affairs office has been posting press releases from the government’s daily press conferences on their website, along with news about the epidemic and health tips. The content is available in English, French, Japanese and Korean.