The Chinese Embassy in Nigeria says it is still issuing visas to Nigerians intending to visit China despite the outbreak of Coronavirus but advised that such travels should be delayed except in cases of urgency.
The Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian, said that the World Health Organisation WHO has acknowledged and commended China’s effort at containing the spread of Coronavirus adding that China has “taken more than is required of the emergency.”
“But as individuals, they may access the situation. So we also think the response and the guidance from the Nigerian government is very smart and appropriate,” he said.
“We have kept very smooth communication with the internationals, and the foreign embassies in China to keep them very informed of the emergency,” Pingjian said.
Ambassador Pingjian said that as at 7:00 am, February 3, there were 17, 205 reported cases of coronavirus in China while 21, 558 were suspected of being with the virus in the Chinese Mainland.
He quoted the Chinese National Health Commission as reporting 361 deaths from the virus while 475 have been discharged from hospital after recovery of health.
He said “The emergency is still very adaptive to the situation. Here is a residence in Abuja we are [not] losing sleep about the epidemic because the Nigerian government is following the advice of WHO and have taken very rational and appropriate measures. And we believe that with joint efforts from the international community we can prevent and cure the spread of the epidemic.”
The ambassador noted that although the outbreak of the disease will affect the economic prospects of China, he was optimistic the economy will bounce back shortly.
“The economy will feel the impact of the epidemic because you see in china we have taken very rigorous measures, like in the extension of the holidays. It will feel the impact of the epidemic, but according to China’s experience, we are not here for the first time to face such an epidemic.”
“You may remember 2003 and 2008 with the earthquakes. We believe we will get over this soon because the fundamentals of the China economy will not be affected by the epidemic. So with the rising over the epidemic, the economy will become, we have the confidence to achieve our goals,” he said.
He added that the recommendations of the WHO are very important for us to fight the epidemic together.
“As for the nationals who went back home for the holidays, apparently they wish to get back on schedule, but I can tell you not only to Nigeria, even to other countries, they have now also reconsidered their plans, why they will access people, to reduce their own risk, they may choose to stay at home, but if it’s necessary to travel as we say once the forum, the travel advisories and we still think it is normal for people to travel beyond the borders.”
“And for the embassy, we make decisions and like the government, we are trying all that we can to pass information among the Chinese community here in Nigeria. The awareness of the epidemic is very important,” he said.