Coronavirus: Eight Fijians Choose To Stay In Wuhan

8 Fijians in Wuhan opt to stay in China while two others will join the Kiwis to be evacuated to a military facility at Whangaparaoa for 2 weeks. A student who did not wish to be named said this was a sacrifice they have to take.
05 Feb 2020 09:15
Coronavirus: Eight Fijians Choose To Stay In Wuhan
Wuhan city,China


Eight Fijians studying in Wuhan City, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, have opted to hunker down in the locked-down city and not come home.

Here at home, two Fijians are under isolation at Nadi Hospital for suspected symptoms of the novel coronavirus.

However, two Fijian students, also studying in Wuhan will be part of the 263 people registered to be evacuated from the city on an Air New Zealand charter flight.

New Zealand High Commissioner Jonathan Curr confirmed the two, like others on the assisted flight, would have another health assessment upon their arrival in New Zealand before they are transported to a military facility at Whangaparaoa, in Auckland. The evacuees will stay at the facility for two weeks.

Two in isolation

The two Fijians who are under isolation at Nadi Hospital for novel coronavirus arrived in Fiji on Monday (February 3) from Guangdong, China.

In a statement yesterday, the ministry said both have mild symptoms.

Lab samples for confirmatory testing for 2019-nCoV have been sent to the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre reference laboratory in Melbourne, Australia.

For the time being, the ministry’s response teams are managing close contacts of the patients.

The ministry will provide an update to the public on the two persons once lab results are available.

There are currently no confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV in Fiji.


The eight Fijians

For the eight students living in the centre of the coronavirus outbreak, they’ve opted to remain in China for different reasons.

A student, who did not wish to be named, said this was a sacrifice they have to take.

“We talked about it, and some of us have decided to stay. While the city remains in lockdown and literally now a ghost city, the Chinese Government are doing their best to look after its citizens and us foreigners.”

Last week, most of the International Student Services at different Wuhan based universities issued a statement encouraging foreign students to return home because the starting of school was yet to be confirmed.

The Fijian students noted that meals were now being brought to students living in international dormitories which did not happen soon after the lockdown.

“It seems they are becoming more strict.”

As the symptoms of 2019-nCoV are very similar to many other respiratory illnesses (including colds and influenza) it is expected that with time the ministry will investigate more persons with relevant travel history and symptoms related to 2019-nCoV.

This should not alarm the public, because this is an indication of the level of alert we are maintaining for this globally spreading disease.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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