A GROUP of tourists who managed to travel out of China to Namibia this month have been advised to isolate themselves at home for a period of 14 days in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak, which has so far claimed a total 213 lives, with almost 10 000 cases confirmed worldwide.
This was revealed by Chinese ambassador to Namibia, Zhang Yiming, who stated that roughly 300 tourists arrived in Namibia during December 2019 and January 2020 from different provinces of China before a travel ban was put in place by the Chinese government on 23 January.
He, however, added that these groups have started returning to China, and that the last group is expected to back in China on 5 February 2020.
Yiming stated that a total 4 000 Chinese nationals live and work in Namibia, but that a travel ban has been put in place and those who had left Namibia for the Chinese New Year and might want to return to Namibia, have been advised to stay in China for now.
On Thursday, 31 January, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the virus a global health emergency as it has spread to more than 20 countries and territories outside of mainland China in Asia, Europe, North America and the Middle East.
The United Kingdom reported its first two cases on Friday.
Yiming further stated that Chinese nationals who work and live in Namibia, as well as tourists in China from Namibia, who may have come into close contact with the virus in China, are being monitored closely and are expected to report to the Chinese Embassy in Windhoek every day.
Yiming further advised citizens against spreading radical ideas on social media, as the Chinese government will not tolerate lives being lost to the Coronavirus, both in China and internationally.
“Viruses have no borders. It is a common threat for the international community. However, the line ministries in Namibia are working closely with the World Health Organisation to contain the spread of the virus,” Yiming said.
He further stated that 45 Namibian students will remain in China for now as Wuhan has been cut off from the outside world.
“Japan and the USA evacuated some of their nationals out of Wuhan, however, WHO experts strongly advises against the evacuation of foreign nationals. The total rate of infection of the Coronavirus is high, but the virus has a low mortality rate,” Yiming said.
In conclusion, the ambassador advised the public not to discriminate against Chinese nationals and that it is a time to join hands and find ways in preventing the future outbreak of viruses.
Viruses have no borders. It is a common threat to the entire international community. However the line ministries in Namibia are working closely with the World Health Organization to contain the spread of the virus,” Yimming said.
He further stated that a total of 45 Namibian students will remain stuck in China as Wuhan has been placed under strict quarantine and is cut off from the outside world.
“The governments of Japan and the United States of America have already evacuated some of their nationals from Wuhan, however WHO experts strongly advised against the evacuation of foreign nationals. The total rate of infection of the Coronavirus is high, however the virus has a low mortality rate,” Yimming said.
In conclusion, the ambassador requested the Namibian public not to discriminate against Chinese people.
Yimming said that now is a time to join hands and find ways to prevent the future outbreak of viruses, especially in China.