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As California struggles under the weight of a growing curve of confirmed COVID-19 cases, our international neighbors in China are stepping up to provide support. Zhang Zhichao, the Director-general of the Nanjing Foreign Affairs Office has reached out to Chief of Global Business Development for the Bay Area Council, Del Christensen, to offer knowledge and resources to help fight the pandemic. Currently, the Bay Area suffers a staggering amount of confirmed COVID-19 cases, with over 2,000 infected. As of March 30, there are 6,932 positive COVID-19 cases and 150 coronavirus-related deaths in California overall. 

“In face of the sudden outbreak of COVID-19, the most important thing is mutual understanding, mutual trust and mutual support across national boundaries. As an important partner of the Bay Area Council, Nanjing is willing to share our experience in epidemic prevention and control and work together with all the cities in [the] Bay Area to defeat COVID-19,” said Director-general Zhichao in his statement. 

Locally, Irvine is set to receive 20,000 medical masks from Liyang, China. Irvine City Hall hosted the Liyang City delegates last December, where they met and were impressed by Irvine City Councilmember Anthony Kuo. After hearing about the current situation in Irvine — 50 confirmed cases of COVID-19 to date — Mayor Huaquin Xu of Liyang reached out to Councilmember Kuo to express his desire to help. The city will be gratefully accepting the much needed PPE (personal protective equipment) expected to arrive shortly. 

“It’s time for our communities — whether that means the neighbors on your street or global partners — to come together,” advises Councilmember Kuo. “By uniting, we can ‘flatten the curve,’ find a cure and better our relationships, despite distancing orders. I am grateful for the generosity of Mayor Xu and the people of Liyang who have generously come to our aid.”

In a statement last week, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that Shanghai and Guangzhou are both sending shipments of masks and protective wear to Los Angeles’ frontline doctors and medical staff.

Overall, the number of ICU patients in California has risen 10 percent, to 657. Experts and residents worry that the number may be far higher, as testing is limited which affects accurate reporting. As of March 30, approximately 86,100 tests had been conducted in California. At least 28,704 results have been received and another 57,400 are pending.