NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 20 – The Chinese Embassy in Nairobi has assured that adequate measures are in place to protect Kenyan students in China, including those in Wuhan, the epicenter of coronavirus that has killed more than 2000 people and infected over 75,000 others.
The embassy said no Kenyan student has been infected with the deadly disease, a day after parents and relatives of students in Wuhan raised alarm in Nairobi, and called on the government to help facilitate their return.
Wuhan city in Hubei Province is on lockdown since December 2019, when the first case was diagnosed. Many other cities have followed suit and declared emergency situations as President Xi Jinping’s government work to defeat the virus now known as COVID-19.
A section of Kenyans have expressed dissatisfaction with the Kenya government’s response to the epidemic, even as Spokesman Cyrus Oguna ruled out evacuations “because it is more dangerous if they are subjected to travel. They are safe in Wuhan.”
“It’s not wise to bring them back yet they are all safe we must think rationally on this decision and not use emotions,” Oguna said.
Instead, he said that the Government has released Sh1.3 million which will be given to the (Kenyan) ambassador in China as upkeep by the students.
The Chinese embassy in Nairobi noted that all students were being protected through regular sterilization and free distribution of epidemic protective materials.
Some of the parents who addressed a press conference in Nairobi on Wednesday said they have been receiving distress calls from their kin, mainly on food access and other basic supplies due to the lockdown particularly in Wuhan city.
In order to facilitate their food supply, the embassy said that the students are receiving online meal orders and free delivery purchase through agents.
The Chinese government said that it has also offered 41 dedicated 24-hour-hot-lines and paying visit at request of the students.
“The Chinese side will continue to work closely with Kenyan MFA and Embassy in China to provide as much support as possible to Kenyan students in China. Should the students in China encounter difficulties during the epidemic, the Embassy welcomes the students or parents to let us know through the Kenyan Embassy in Beijing,” the statement added.
“These measures are part of the 100% Coverage Network and Daily Report Mechanism launched by the Chinese Government,” it also said.
According to data cited by the Chinese embassy, the number of cured cases as at Wednesday, (1,824) exceeds the number of newly confirmed cases (1,749).
“As of February 18, 74,185 confirmed cases have been reported in China, including 14,376 cured cases and 2,004 fatalities. New confirmed cases in China excluding Hubei Province dropped to 56 on February 18, marking a decline for the 15th consecutive day since February 3,” part of the statement indicated.