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Gambia: China makes considerable gains against coronavirus

China is making considerable gains against the coronavirus and that efforts are channeled in the right direction to effectively combat the highly contagious flu-like virus which started almost two months ago in the Asian economic powerhouse, the Chinese ambassador in Banjul, Mr. Ma Jianchun told journalists.He said that, over 11,062 coronavirus patients have been medically cured and discharged from hospitals in the Hubei province saying there has been significant reduction in new cases recorded in recent weeks. “My country is at war with the coronavirus.” He said.

Ambassador Ma said that, Chinese citizens initially mistakenly took the coronavirus to be a normal flu sickness which is normal in this time of the year in the country but later a dispatched medical expert team in Wuhan discovered that it was not the normal flu disease but rather a highly contagious and deadly virus. ‘Immediately the Chinese government put up all the necessary measures to deal with the new epidemic.” he explained.

According to the ambassador, the outbreak took place just few days before the popular Chinese new year, a time in which millions of Chinese citizens travel countrywide to celebrate their new years’ with families and friends across China as it is a major national festive period for all Chinese.

He said that, the country has mobilized enormous material and human resources to effectively combat the dreadful coronavirus as it puts up a national resources mobilization mechanism to meet the much needed resources in the fight against this deadly virus.

He added they have deployed 217 medical doctors to Hubei province within the first week of the outbreak, as 80% of the affected patients are from Wuhan which is situated in the Hubei province of China all done to mitigate the impact of the outbreak within China as well as outside of the country.

Already 19 cities in the Hubei province have been quarantined in order to effectively curb the situation and arrest the spread of new potential cases in China and beyond. He said that, China is taking care of all the affected people and this include Chinese nationals and foreigners as well saying the Chinese government considers everyone equally important in the provision of care and medical treatment to all people. “Foreigners are as important as Chinese citizens are in the fight against this deadly virus. We therefore provide support to all including non -Chinese” he explained.

On the case of the Gambian students in China, Ambassador Ma said that, the Chinese government is effectively working with the Gambian authorities as they are monitoring the situation and their current status adding that no Gambian citizen in China is so far infected with the coronavirus. “We are also providing technical support to the Gambian government in the form of capacity building and material resources in case of any possible cases in the Gambia.”

He said that, all Gambian students living in Wuhan are staying in their campuses and that food and other daily needs are being provided to them through community health personnel across the largely affected areas saying that even those students outside of the campuses are included in the overall national control measures.

“Currently 41 hotlines have been established to facilitate communication and information sharing in China and outside about the deadly pandemic.” Moreover, a new hospital was built in just ten days in Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak for patients suffering from the highly contagious flu-like virus to be treated in that medical facility.

As of February 17, 2020, 26 countries have been affected with the coronavirus, two confirmed deaths outside of China, the Chinese ambassador to Banjul confirmed this morning. Mr. Jianchun said that, the country adopted different levels of preventive and control measures to curb new cases outside Wuhan in the Hubei province. The Chinese representative in Banjul said that, there are over 70, 000 confirmed infection cases and that mortality rates stands at 2.1% which represents much lower rates than other epidemics such as Ebola or N1H1 viruses’ in previous outbreaks.

Ma said in a globalized world, such outbreaks affects everyone in one way or another but misinformation and bias reporting by certain media houses escalates fears. When asked the potential economic effects on the Chinese economy, Ambassador Ma said that, it has some significant negative impacts on trade but authorities in Beijing are treating it as a temporal situation noting that China will certainly overcome this epidemic as it did with the SARS virus in the past.

He hailed the solidarity and excellent bilateral ties between Banjul and Beijing describing it as “encouraging and always timely.”

In a solidarity gesture, the Lord Mayor of Banjul City Council, Rohey Malick Lowe, expressed her utmost support to the people of China and prayed for a quick cure to the pandemic saying China is an indispensable development partner to the Gambia.



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