Mr Zhou Pingjian, the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Nigeria, on Monday, said the embassy had stopped issuance of visas for now.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that he also advised Nigerians planning to travel to China to suspend their plans pending when the spread of the virus would be contained.
He also reiterated China’s commitment to safeguarding the lives of Nigerians and other nationals living in that country.
The ambassador stated this while briefing newsmen on the coronavirus outbreak in his country and the measures put in place to contain the scourge.
He said China had taken the most comprehensive, rigorous containment, and mitigation measures beyond the requirements of international health regulations.
He said by such measures China was not only protecting the health of its people but also that of the people around the world.
According to Zhou, checking the spread of the coronavirus is a common concern of the international community.
“Life comes first. The Chinese government is committed to safeguarding the lives and health of the Chinese people.
“We will, in a responsible manner, safeguard the life of every foreign national in China and address their legitimate concerns in a timely manner.
“We will continue to strengthen communication and coordination with the international community and work hand in hand for the epidemic prevention and control,” he said.
He also advised other countries to adopt a responsible attitude, work together to combat the virus, and avoid overreaction that might result in more negative spillover effects.
He added that a total of 60 Nigerians were living in Wuhan city where the virus broke out from, adding that no Nigerian in China had been infected.
Zhou said that the authorities were maintaining regular communication with them in case of any need for assistance.
The envoy explained that as of 7am Nigerian time (on Monday), the total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus had increased to 17,205.
“And 21,558 people were suspected of being infected in the Chinese mainland according to China’s National Health Commission.
“A total number of 361 people have died of the disease while 475 people had been discharged from hospital after recovery.
He said that an increase in the number of deaths was recorded because of the newness of the virus, which had been subjected to research.
He added that scientists were still working hard to come up with the drug for the treatment of the disease.
According to the ambassador, China has built a nationwide prevention and control system with special focus on Wuhan and Hubei.
He said that a 1000-bed makeshift hospital was built in Wuhan within nine days in Wuhan to contain the virus.
Zhou expressed confidence that the country’s economy and trade cooperation with the world would remain strong.
He expressed appreciation to the Nigerian government for its show of support to the people of China.
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