South China's Guangdong province, window of the country's reform and opening-up, reiterated it treats both domestic and foreign individuals equally in the fight against COVID-19.
In an open letter to both local and foreign residents in the province titled Joint Efforts to Fight Against COVID-19, the provincial government said the province takes the same prevention and control measures for all in Guangdong, regardless of nationality, race and gender, in the fight against COVID-19.
Meanwhile the provincial government has also introduced a series of special measures covering nine major industries and sectors for livelihoods to help fight against the pandemic and restore production and business in Guangdong, known as a major production base and commercial area in the country, said the letter.
"The measures that are equal to all people in Guangdong involve health and medical treatment, education, catering, transportation, tourism and scenic spots, hotels and restaurants, supermarkets and shopping centers, residential houses and housing estates, and leasing homes," said the letter.
And Zhang Xin, deputy governor of Guangdong province, said the provincial government has asked all departments, organizations, groups and individuals in Guangdong to strictly abide by relevant laws, regulations and rules in the fight against COVID-19 and treat both locals and foreigners equally.
"Foreign people's religious beliefs and customs must be respected, and foreigners will not be discriminated against when they enter local housing estates, communities, shopping centers, hospitals, restaurants or scenic spots, and enjoy local public transport facilities," said Zhang.
Zhang made his remarks while having a conference with foreign representatives in the province on April 30.
"Those who violate relevant laws, regulations and rules in the fight against COVID-19 will be punished according to the law," he said.
The provincial government has asked relevant departments, organizations and groups to open special hotlines, allowing locals and foreigners to complain and report 24 hours a day.
"Relevant departments have expanded contacts and exchanges with foreign consulate generals in Guangdong, foreign chambers of commerce and relevant organizations and groups to explain and introduce Guangdong's policies, regulations and rules in the fight against COVID-19 after the outbreak of the pandemic, and have won foreign residents' support, respect and understanding," Zhang added.
Alima Danfakha Gakou, consul of Mali in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, thanked the Guangdong provincial government for helping foreigners in Guangdong in fighting against COVID-19.
Many other foreign consuls general attending the conference also appreciated Guangdong's great efforts made to fight against COVID-19 in the previous months.
The special measures Guangdong province has introduced to help fight against COVID-19 and restore production and commercial activities in the province are equal to both locals and foreigners, they said.