Coronavirus: 60 Nigerians ‘trapped’ in Wuhan as death toll rises to 361

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The Coronavirus infection has risen to 17,205 from 14,380 confirmed cases while 361 persons had died from the disease, which originated from Wuhan in China.

About 21,558 individuals were also suspected of being infected with the virus in the Chinese mainland.

Giving an update on the epidemic in Abuja on Monday, the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Zhou Pingjian, disclosed that 475 others had been discharged from the hospital after recovery.

The diplomat said the government had reached out to about 60 Nigerians living in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak.

He revealed that a cure had been found for the disease, adding that Chinese scientists are working to develop a vaccine for the virus, which the World Health Organisation had declared as an international public health emergency.

According to him, scientists have assured that the epidemic would lose its momentum in the next two weeks.

The envoy said, “As of 7 am Abuja time today (Monday), the total number of confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection climbed to 17,205 and 21,558 people were suspected of being infected with the virus in the Chinese mainland, according to China’s National Health Commission.”

“A total of 361 people had died, 475 people had been discharged from hospital after recovery. These are not numbers, these are lives, families, communities. This is going to be an unforgettable Spring Festival for the Chinese as families are separated but united to stand together in the face of the disease,” he added.

Pingjian stated that the Chinese Premier, Xi Jinping, had repeatedly given important instructions on prevention and control work and personally held a meeting on redeployment and remobilisation.

The ambassador said China was willing to work with other countries, including Nigeria, to respond to the epidemic effectively.

“We have informed the World Health Organisation, relevant countries and Hong Kong, Macao and a Taiwan about the latest epidemic situation, and have shared information on virus gene sequences with all parties for the first time,” Pingjian pointed out.

He stated that there was no need for restriction of international travel and trade over the disease, adding that under the current circumstances, “solidarity is what the world needs.”

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