Chinese Embassy assure safety of Grenadian students studying in Wuhan, China

by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada 

  • Chinese Embassy in Grenada advises Grenada students studying in China not to return home
  • Safety of 11 students from Grenada studying in Wuhan can be assured
  • Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA) developing infrastructure to isolate any passenger who may show signs of flu

In the wake of mass hysteria over the outbreak of coronavirus epidemic in Wuhan, Hubei province, Chinese Ambassador, Dr Zhao Yongchen of the Chinese Embassy in Grenada is advising Grenada students studying in China not to return home.

His statement mirrors that of the recommendation from the World Health Organisation (WHO). “China attaches great importance to the life and health of all nationals including Grenadian students in Wuhan and takes effective measures to address their concerns and needs in a timely manner. From a professional perspective, the WHO does not support the hasty movement of people at this time. We recommend to respect the advice of professionals.”

The Chinese Ambassador was addressing journalists during a press conference on Wednesday to update the media on measures taken to protect the safety of Grenadian citizens. He stated that the Chinese Embassy in Grenada has been in close communication with the Grenadian government and the Grenadian Embassy in China to address their concerns and needs of the 11 students from Grenada studying in Wuhan, and reassured members of the media that their safety can be assured.

“Attaching high importance to the well-being of foreign nationals in China, especially Wuhan, Hubei, China has taken effective measures to ensure the living conditions of Grenadian citizens and citizens from other countries in China,” he said.

According to figures provided by the Chinese Ambassador 24,324 cases of nCoV pneumonia were confirmed, with 490 deaths and 892 persons cured and discharged.

He said, “The Chinese Embassy in Grenada has been in close communication with the Grenadian government, kept on informing on the epidemic as well as China’s prevention and control efforts. We also have reminded overseas Chinese and Chinese companies in Grenada to take effective measures to prevent the epidemic and quarantine those who return to Grenada recently. I would like to thank the Grenadian government and people for your concern, understanding, and support for China’s fight against the epidemic. We have full confidence and capability to win this fight against the epidemic.”

Ambassador Yongchen has provided reassurance that “The Chinese government has been taking the most comprehensive and rigorous prevention and control measures with a high sense of responsibility” and stated that there is no need for people to panic or overreact.

Since the outbreak, WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, commended the Chinese government for taking the “extraordinary measures” taken since the outbreak, some of these measures far exceed what is required by the International Health Regulations.

The Chinese Ambassador went on to list several measures taken by the Chinese government to provide assistance to its citizens and non-nationals, some of which include:

  • Setting up a 24-hour hotline (027-87122256) for foreign citizens, students and tour groups in the province to access advice and assistance.
  • Hubei Foreign Office continues to utilise its official website and the WeChat account to relay information on the epidemic situation and epidemic prevention knowledge in English and other languages.
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has set up a special column entitled “Fighting 2019-nCoV” on its website, gathering the latest information from the National Health Commission to keep foreign readers updated.
  • The National Immigration Administration translated the Public Prevention of Pneumonia Caused by Novel Coronavirus released by the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention into six foreign languages including English, to accommodate and to help equip foreign nationals in China with prevention tips.

Meanwhile, here in Grenada, the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA) is developing infrastructure to isolate any passenger who may show signs of the flu. In addition, the MBIA is equipped with an infrared camera installed in 2015, capable of facial tracking and can identify passengers with high body temperatures.

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