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Foreign Nationals Included in Beijing's Outbreak Control System and Treated Equally with Chinese Citizens

2020/04/05

At a press conference on Beijing's control and treatment efforts held on 4 April, Li Hui, Deputy Director of the Beijing Municipal Foreign Affairs Office, noted that since the outbreak began, Beijing has paid close attention to outbreak control among foreign nationals living in the city. Many efforts were made, including putting them under Beijing's city-wide outbreak control arrangement. According to the arrangement, "Chinese and foreign nationals shall be treated alike" in all control measures.

Li said that the spread of the virus nationwide has been effectively stemmed, but the risk of case import continues to rise as the highly contagious COVID-19 is rampaging across the world. A total of six cases have been confirmed among foreign nationals in Beijing, among which four were imported cases. Beijing is under pressure to prevent both case import and domestic resurgence. All control measures rolled out by the city government are aimed to safeguard public health, protect the safety and well-being of everyone including foreign nationals, and prevent the resurgence of the outbreak. These measures are recommended by WHO and adopted by countries around the world.

Li stressed that "Beijing's control measures apply to Chinese and foreign nationals equally. They will neither be tightened nor loosened just because of the nationality of a person." Any foreign national who breaks China's laws or violates Beijing's control measures will be held legally accountable and punished accordingly. So far, the overwhelming majority of foreign nationals in Beijing have followed well the city's control requirements. They have practiced self-protection and reduced movement and travels. Many of them have even volunteered to help with control efforts in their communities.

Given the challenges and uncertainties Beijing still faces, Li called on all foreign nationals in the city to stick to the control measures, support control efforts and cooperate with the authorities. "We will continue to provide foreign nationals in Beijing with the services they need to facilitate their life and work here." Li added.

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