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ROK man helps tackle COVID-19 in Tianjin

Updated: 2021-11-04 08:16 ( Xinhua )
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TIANJIN-Jun Hyunkee's face lit up as he looked down a list of people from the Republic of Korea and saw fewer names in the unvaccinated column, meaning more compatriots are being protected from COVID-19.

Jun, 50, vice-president of the Korean Society in North China's Tianjin, loves traveling. However, he canceled his travel plans and volunteered to join his local community group in the fight against the pandemic after finding out the staff were struggling to communicate with residents from the ROK in the city.

His phone rings constantly. Jun is busy responding to various messages and filling in the information in the forms for people. But to him, it is all worth it. "I want to be a bridge between the people of the two countries and do something for them," says Jun, a fluent Chinese speaker.

In 2002, Jun quit his job in Seoul and came to China to start his fodder business. Over the years, he has traveled to many places in China and finally settled in Tianjin in 2009.

There are tens of thousands of ROK residents working and living in Tianjin. In Jun's community, there are around 1,800.

"No one knew the exact number before. But during the pandemic, the community staff went door-to-door to collect residents' information," Jun says.

Jun explains China's COVID-19 prevention policies thoroughly to the ROK residents and tells them why it is important for everyone to participate in the fight against the pandemic.

The responsible, warm and caring attitude of the community staff and Jun have made many ROK residents feel particularly at ease.

"China's prevention and control measures are very effective. Many people tell me they feel very safe in Tianjin," Jun says.

Since China and the ROK have opened a "fast-track lane" for those on urgent visits, more people from the country have landed in Tianjin.

Jun helps out as a translator when the quarantined individuals make requests and communicates with the Chinese staff to help them solve problems.

"The results of China's arduous battle against the virus are hard-won. We need to cherish what we have now and follow strict measures for pandemic prevention and control. Meanwhile, I try my best to meet their reasonable demands to make them feel at home," Jun says.

In just a few months, Jun's WeChat contacts list has surged from 300 to over 6,000. His new connections range from Chinese staff in the community and the police station to others who happened to meet Jun just once. "As long as they send me a message, I will spare no effort to help them."

Since China has made great strides in promoting vaccination, Jun was quick to get the Chinese COVID-19 vaccines and has helped nearly 1,500 ROK residents in Tianjin follow suit.

"Chinese vaccines are very safe. None of us have had an adverse reaction after getting vaccinated. I hope more ROK residents living in China will get vaccinated to protect themselves," Jun says.

"China has created a stable living environment for the people amid the pandemic. I hope through my efforts, more people will become a link for friendly exchanges between China and the ROK," Jun adds.

On the wall of Jun's workplace hangs a banner sent from his Chinese community as a small gift for his immense help in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.

"This is the greatest honor for me and the whole of Korean society in Tianjin," Jun says.

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