NEWS

Wuhan Coronavirus: Fear Among Fijians Living In Wuhan, China

A statement from the Chinese Embassy in Fiji confirmed there were more than 200 cases, mostly in the Wuhan province.
22 Jan 2020 09:57
Wuhan Coronavirus: Fear Among Fijians Living In Wuhan, China
Some of the Fijians living in Wuhan, China.

Fijian nationals studying in Wuhan city, China, are requesting for relocation or evacuation following the massive outbreak of the coronavirus in the province.

A statement from the Chinese Embassy in Fiji confirmed there were more than 200 cases, mostly in the Wuhan province.

The embassy confirmed the new strain of coronavirus, which causes a type of pneumonia, can pass from person to person.

Signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, and cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

Fijian national and Masters of Business Administration student Diana Botei attends the China University of Geoscience based in Wuhan city.

She is a first-year student.

She said there were 12 Fijians living in the province and all have been marked safe from the virus. Four are from the RFMF Naval Division on training in the province.

However, they are requesting for immediate evacuation.

Six of the 11 are now taking refuge at Major Duaibe’s 32nd floor flat.

“In light of the mysterious virus outbreak here in Wuhan, I wish to let you know that all Fijians based here in Wuhan are safe and have not been affected,” Major Duaibe said.

“The disease is spreading rapidly and we only hope that we get evacuated as soon as possible.”

He said locals have evacuated the province while foreigners, who remained were taking precautionary measures.

World Health Organisation (WHO) officials will meet local authorities today to ascertain the severity of the breakout but work continues as normal but movements are restrictive.

“We have also been cautioned not to use public transport and minimize movement,” he said.

Attempts to contact Fijian Ambassador to China Manasa Tagicakibau were unsuccessful.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Republic of Fiji Military Forces Naval Division have yet to receive updates from the Fijian Embassy in China regarding the welfare of Fijians in the affected areas.

Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete said they were focused on the cleaning up of issues surrounding measles and would now beginn to move their attention to coronavirus.

He said they were closely following the updates of the virus through the normal advisory channel of the World Health Organisation.

“We have improved with ways we plan and strategize things by learning from past experiences of communicable disease outbreaks like Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and measles,” Dr Waqainabete said.

“We hope to take warnings and advice seriously on what’s happening around the world and work on putting all our efforts in combating diseases that come our way,” he said.

He confirmed that his team are providing covers with regards to border control at Nadi and Nausori International Airports and also the main port of entries with regards to tourists coming in from coronavirus affected areas.

As of yesterday, the virus had killed four people.

Closer to home, Australia media reported that a Brisbane man was tested for the infectious coronavirus.

Feedback: inoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj

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