Our lives in danger, Nigerians in Wuhan cry out over Coronavirus fear

NEWS DIGEST – As the Coronavirus infection cases rose to 24,324 in China on Wednesday, Nigerians trapped in Wuhan, Hubei province where the disease originated from have raised the alarm that their lives are in danger.

The Nigerian Students Association in Wuhan asked the Federal Government to carry out an urgent evacuation of the 60 Nigerians in the city, noting that the situation is worrisome.

This is happening 24 hours after the House of Representatives resolved that Nigerians in Wuhan would not be evacuated.

According to lawmakers who voted massively against the motion raised by the spokesperson of the house, Benjamin Okezie, China has better facilities to handle the situation than Nigeria.

But NSAW explained in a letter addressed to the Nigerian Ambassador to China, Amb. Ahmad Jidda, that the Nigerian nationals comprising 52 adults and eight children were at risk of contracting the disease which had so far claimed 490 lives.

The association in the letter which was also copied to the Chairman, Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, called for an urgent evacuation of the stranded Nigerians.

The letter dated February 5, 2020, was signed by the acting NSAW President, Okoye Chiamaka and Secretary-General, Vandi Kamaunji, respectively.

The group stated that it had earlier received a report from the NiDCOM chairman on Monday through the President of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation in China, asking about the welfare of Nigerians in the Asian country.

In response, the association said it sent a letter dated February 4 requesting financial support for the 60 Nigerians in Wuhan.

The letter read, “However, for clarification purpose, the amount to be provided is in response to the request made by the Chairman of NiDCOM and not the paramount need of Nigerians in Wuhan as a larger percentage of Nigerians in Wuhan still maintained their stand on evacuation.”

It further added, “Before the request, we submitted a letter to the Chairman of NiDCOM dated January 29 as well as the embassy dated January 31 through NIDO on the need for the urgent evacuation of Nigerians from Wuhan as the situation is quite worrisome and the lives of 60 Nigerians including eight children is at stake.”

Meanwhile, China’s National Health Commission said it had received 24,324 reports of confirmed cases and 490 deaths on the Chinese mainland.

It explained that 892 patients had been cured and discharged from the hospital, adding that there still remained 23,260 suspected cases.

The Press Officer, Embassy of China in Nigeria, Sun Saixiong in an update said, “So far, 185,555 are now under medical observation, who have been identified as having had close contact with infected patients.

“The number of confirmed infections in China’s Hong Kong (18) and Macao (10) special administrative regions and Taiwan province (11) had risen to 39 in total.”

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