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Chinese ambassador reassures on Coronavirus

Nearly 160 Chinese nationals who recently returned from their homeland to Botswana are in voluntary self-quarantine, while another 139 successfully completed the same process and were declared free of the dreaded Coronavirus.

Chinese Ambassador to Botswana, Zhao Yanbo said the self-quarantine was part of protocols adopted by local authorities and the Chinese Embassy to prevent the spread of the illness by returning travellers.

He was responding this morning to Mmegi enquiries at a briefing on the disease, which has thus far killed more than 1,800 people mostly in China.

Yanbo said the Chinese Embassy in Gaborone was working closely with various ministries, particularly that of Health and Wellness, to boost Botswana’s insulation against the disease. The Embassy recently donated ‘more than ten’ touch-free thermometers which are used to detect temperatures at points of entry such as airports.

“We issued consular warnings and many stayed and changed their schedules to come here,” he said.

“We have a WeChat group for the Chinese community in Botswana and there is a lot of work to monitor the movements of Chinese people coming to Botswana.

“We know names and other details and we are in touch.

“China is a responsible country, a transparent nation and active in cooperating with the international community.”

Botswana, which has set aside P50 million for products and services to fight the virus, recently cleared five suspected Coronavirus cases and has heightened health protocols at points of entry, particularly international airports. The Sir Ketumile Teaching Hospital has also been added to the list of

quarantine facilities available for use.

The Chinese ambassador said the Embassy had been in frequent contact with Batswana students under lockdown in Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the Coronavirus epidemic first broke out in December.

Yanbo has made calls to the 33 Batswana students in Wuhan and on Tuesday wrote a letter assuring them everything was being done to bring the lockdown to an end as soon as possible.

“I know that Batswana are really concerned about the students but they are being provided for.

“They have been asked to stay indoors and we providing them with food, life necessities and materials for prevention and care.

“The students are safe and in good health. They are receiving supplies such as food, anything for their health, masks, thermometers, gloves, guidelines to keep measuring themselves and others.

“They have access to the Internet and Whatsapp to keep in touch with family back home.

“There are about 5,473 foreign students in Wuhan and every university has a special service team for foreign students.

“We also have 41 hotlines for foreign students.

“We understand that this is a test of the responsibility of China’s government.”

The Chinese Ambassador also noted that recent figures around the epidemic showed the numbers of those cured daily had eclipsed those infected, marking a turn since the outbreak began in December.







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