The Chinese Government has announced that it is suspending the issuance of Visa to Nigerians as part of its plan to contain and defeat the deadly Coronavirus affecting its territory.
The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian, made the announcement on Monday, stating that China is concerned about the health of foreign nationals visiting their country, hence the need to curb influx of people into the country.
“Life comes first. The Chinese Government is committed to safeguarding the lives and health of the Chinese people.
“We will, in a responsible manner, safeguard the life of every foreign national in China and address their legitimate concerns in a timely manner.
“We will continue to strengthen communication and coordination with the international community and work hand in hand for the epidemic prevention and control,” he said.
He made it known that a total of 60 Nigerians are living in Wuhan city where the virus first broke out, but no Nigerian in China has been infected yet so far.
Coronovirus is simply a group of viruses that cause diseases such as diarrhea in mammals, birds, cows, pigs and upper respiratory diseases in chicken. Transmitted to humans, the virus causes respiratory infections which are very deadly.
According to the World Health Organization, Coronaviruses are associated with common cold, pneumonia, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and also affect the gut.
Current Occurrence: The disease has been found in The USA, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, France, Australia, Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Macau, Philippines and the UK.
In China where it has recorded the highest cases, more than 1,975 people have been infected with about 54 dying from the virus.
Symptoms: Running nose, cough, sore throat, fever, high temperature.
Transmission: The virus is transmitted from animals to man and it’s first transmission is assumed to be from a snake at the South China seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, China.
The virus is transmitted through droplets of an infected person’s cough or sneeze and also when touching contaminated surfaces such as door handles, tables and hand shakes.
Prevention According To WHO:
Wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.
Cover nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or flexed elbow.
Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
Thoroughly cook meat and eggs.
No unprotected contact with live or farm animals.
Degree of Fatality: The coronavirus is so deadly that patients may die within two weeks of contacting the virus. A single carrier of the virus who travelled from the Middle East to South Korea infected 186 people and caused 38 deaths.
Currently there is no cure nor vaccine for the virus. Efforts are being made in China, United States and some other countries to create cure for it.
Difference Between a Coronavirus And a Normal Flu Virus:
Although Coronaviruses and flu viruses cause similar symptoms, they are genetically very different.
Professor Neil Ferguson, a disease outbreak scientist at Imperial College London explains the difference, “Flu viruses incubate very rapidly – you tend to get symptoms two to three days after being infected, but coronaviruses take much longer…
flu virus you become immune but there are lots of different viruses circulating. Coronaviruses don’t evolve in the same way as flu with lots of different strains, but equally our body doesn’t generate very good immunity.” he added.
Similar Deadly Viruses In Time Past:
The 1918 Spanish flu or H1N1 virus that killed an estimated 50-100million people.
Asian flu of 1957 that killed about 2million humans.
Hong Kong flu of 1968 with a casualty of 1million people.
The 2009 Swine flu caused by the same H1N1 virus killed about 575,000 people.