A renowned city for its gastronomic inheritance and creativity in China, Chengdu joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in 2010 as a Creative City of Gastronomy. Cradle of Sichuan cuisine, one of the four references of Chinese cuisine, Chengdu is known for its cuisine, catering sector, and its extensive public participation in gastronomy. Each year, the city organizes many activities in this domain, such as the Chengdu International Food and Tourism Festival.
As a response to the recovery process to COVID-19, the city initiated “Free services for white angels” to pay respect and show the inhabitants’ appreciation for the selfless dedication and valuable work of doctors, nurses and medical staff in protecting the wellbeing and health of fellow inhabitants in the ongoing pandemic.
In this regard, local government has taken preferential policies and incentives to support medical personnel. In addition to salary hikes and others subsidies, the initiative also aims to provide medical staff free access to cultural activities. Various cultural sectors have also supported the initiative by providing free cultural experiences and comfort to medical workers. For instance, the Emei Film Group and Sichuan Provincial Film Company have created ‘White Angels Gift Card’ for medical staff to watch 100 movies of their choice for free.
More than 400 restaurants from the Sichuan Hot Pot Association have also committed to provide free meals for a year to all medical personnel who supported the city of Wuhan, the primary centre of the outbreak and a UNESCO Creative City of Design. Furthermore, many major tourist attractions have decided to provide free admission to medical personnel once operational.
The initiative is widely welcomed and supported by the local population. Several corporations and private enterprises are coming forward to join this initiative to highlight their appreciation and gratitude to the medical staff of Chengdu.