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Coronavirus: No support from Nigerian govt, students in China speak

FOLLOWING the outbreak of novel Coronavirus in Wuhan city, China, and its spread to other countries, Nigerian students in China like their counterparts have been placed on restricted movement till further notice.

The ICIR reached out to a few Nigerian students, who pleaded for anonymity, and they all confirmed that most schools are currently on lockdown.

“For us life has been very unusual, we are not allowed to move around. We are restricted from moving about in the campus as well as stepping outside campus. We can’t go shopping. Everywhere is on lockdown,” a student who wanted to remain anonymous told The ICIR.

The restriction of movement has halted school activities and students are left with controlled means to access basic needs.

Due to the lockdown, access to money has also become a problem for Nigerians students in China. One student said other countries like Ghana are providing support for their students but the Nigerian government has somewhat abandoned their own in the foreign country.

According to him, the Ghanaian government has committed to providing their students in China with some money to support them. The exact figure is yet to be stated, but a Ghanaian student confirmed to The ICIR that the government is providing some form of financial support.

It was gathered that the Ghanaian government is also making arrangements to evacuate students in Wuhan city, where the outbreak of the virus began in December.

However, another student who also pleaded for anonymity pleaded that Nigerian government should come to the aid of the students and can do so by providing flights for them to return home so they can be safe.

“I will love to come back home but the Nigerian government should come to our aid by at least providing flight tickets so we can see our loved ones and feel safe.”

His request is coming shortly after the minister of health, Osagie Ehanire, advised that Nigerians planning travels to China should delay their plans.

Ehanire stated this while briefing journalists after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja on Wednesday. The minister advised that Nigerians and non-Nigerians planning to visit China should delay their travel plans, atleast, until further notice.

Similarly, chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has advised Nigerians in China to be cautious and stay indoors because of the outbreak of Coronavirus.

Dabiri-Erewa’s advice was highlighted in a statement issued by Abdur-Rahman Balogun, Head of Media and Public Relations of the Commission on Wednesday.

“It is important to advise Nigerians in China to be careful and take necessary precautions by staying indoors more for now,” the statement read in part.

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