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Uncertainty looms for Namibian students in China

2020-02-05  Paheja Siririka

Uncertainty looms for Namibian students in China

CHINA - There is a high level of uncertainty looming among Namibian students currently pursuing studies in China, due to the intensity of the recent outbreak of coronavirus.

Junias Haufiku, the president of Namibian Students Association in China told Youth Corner things are very scary at the moment. “The situation on the ground is intense; hostels and schools are on lockdown at the moment – the severity of the virus keeps rising by hour,” he said.

Haufiku said there are about 480 Namibian students in China and the lack of communication from the government is not making it easier for them. “All they know is that they are doing their best every day, working around the clock to contain the virus and to find a cure for this deadly virus. The government have deployed extra doctors, including military doctors in the city,” he said.

Having been in China since 2016, Haufiku is studying electrical engineering and automation robotics at China’s University of Geosciences. He hopes the government will soon come up with ways to solve the situation at hand.

Maria Hamutenya, who is pursuing a Master of Information Technology told Youth Corner the situation is getting worse every day. “They shut down everything. From transport (airport, train stations, taxis and buses) to schools and shops. We are not allowed to move around – it is so depressing,” expressed Hamutenya.

She appreciates the effort by the Chinese government to contain the matter. “The Chinese government is trying its best to help the infected people, as they are currently building a 1 000-bed facility that would accept patients from Monday – even as construction workers raced to complete it. Hopefully, everything will be fine soon,” she said.

Hamutenya feels more should be done by the Namibian government. “The government hasn’t done anything yet. We just hope the Namibian movement will do something about it as soon as possible,” Hamutenya pleaded.

Wuhan, which is the epicentre of coronavirus, is currently accommodating 35 Namibian students.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness, fluctuating from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.  

The common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever and cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, an infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even 

death.  Ways to prevent spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. WHO has strongly advises people to avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

2020-02-05  Paheja Siririka

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