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Germans support Taicang amid virus outbreak

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: March 13, 2020

Despite the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), many expats from Germany chose to remain in Taicang, a county-level city in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, and join in the city's fight against the epidemic, local media reported on March 13.

In interviews, many of them have said Taicang is their home away from home and their Chinese colleagues and friends are like family.

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Bernd Kern (middle), general manager of Vollmer Taicang Co, inspects a workshop in Taicang, Jiangsu province during the COVID-19 outbreak. [Photo/WeChat account: taicangdaily]

"If you ask what my biggest concern is during the sudden outbreak, it is undoubtedly the healthcare and wellbeing of our employees," said Bernd Kern, general manager of Vollmer Taicang Co.

Having prepared all the necessary medical supplies and taken all proper preventative measures, Kern is now encouraging employees to work in separate offices or work from home. He is paying extra attention to air circulation and the regular disinfection of public areas. Employees who recently returned to Taicang or showed even slight symptoms were asked to undergo a 14-day home quarantine.

Kern started working for Vollmer Taicang Co in September 2017. He fell in love with a local woman and decided to get married and settle down in the peaceful city. Despite his friends in Germany suggesting he come home to avoid the epidemic, Kern decided to stay in Taicang with his family to manage his company.

The temporary slowdown is inevitable, but Kern is confident in Taicang's economic stimulation measures and the giant Chinese market. "Instead of cutting back output, Vollmer Taicang Co is offering new products and discounts for clients," he said.

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