Rabbi Akiva Sheinberger, a Chabad emissary in the city of Yiwu which is located in the Zhejiang region of China, spoke to Arutz Sheva on Sunday about how his community is dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.
“The city of Yiwu has about 200 Jews and other Israeli businessmen and is located about three and a half hours from Shanghai. My family and I left China and came to Israel for a family simcha even before the epidemic broke out. I feel like I’m on a mission even from here. We sent masks to the community and to the entire area, because our Chabad House is the closest to the city from which the coronavirus broke out. In the last two days alone, we sent an additional 2,000 masks.”
Do you talk to the Jews who remained there?
"I talk to them every day. They say there is a curfew and hope this situation will end. In the meantime, we continue to study Torah together. Just yesterday, we held a lesson on the Internet and it greatly strengthened the residents. The Jews in China are very concerned."
Do you believe the reports that the Chinese government does not reveal everything about what is going on in the country in connection with the virus?
"I'm sure the Chinese government is doing everything possible to cure everyone. The doctors there are working vigorously 24 hours a day. We pray that this disease will disappear from the world."
Rabbi Sheinberger took part in Sunday’s prayer gathering at the Western Wall on behalf of those suffering from the coronavirus.
He said he misses the community. "I'm waiting like everyone else and hope to get back to China as soon as possible."