In the midst of the hysteria surrounding the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), a young Dominican student residing in Beijing, hopes to assure the public that authorities are working to ensure the students’ safety.
The current outbreak of the novel coronavirus was first reported from Wuhan, China on December 31, 2019.
Since then, according to a situation report released by the World Health Organization (WHO), on February 3, 2020, there have been 17,391 confirmed cases of persons infected with the virus globally— with 153 of these cases occurring in 23 countries apart from China.
In an exclusive interview with Dominica News Online (DNO), the student (who wished to remain anonymous) revealed that Chinese authorities are taking precautions to preserve students’ health.
“The school has ensured that people who [have] left do not come back until the virus has cleared out… I live at the school, and the school is taking care of us—sometimes they give us masks, sometimes they come to clean or disinfect the room,” the student explained. “They [Chinese officials] pass on to the teachers at our school to tell us how to keep safe … I can’t really go out of the campus; the canteen has just opened so we can get our food.”
The student divulged that all students are currently under quarantine and are “forbidden to go outside, unless it’s serious.”
The student also noted that “one person, on behalf of the government of Dominica, has asked me how I’m doing.”
Due to the measures being taken, and the information available on the virus, the student said that they feel little worry about contracting the virus.
“The virus doesn’t really bother me because it’s like the flu. So, I’m not scared about the virus,” the student explained. “My family is worried about me, so that makes me a little afraid. I feel safe in school because the school is trying their best to keep us safe from the virus.”
The student went on to say, “I have hope that one day they will fight it. Right now the recovery rate is higher than the death rate… People with weaker immune systems, old people, and those who have other health conditions [are those] who are dying from it. We just have to take care of our bodies and try to build up our immune systems.”
Despite this, the student stated that they, the Dominican citizens housed at the establishment, would prefer to return home at this time.
In China, to date, there have been 425 deaths related to the coronavirus, with over 20,500 worldwide infected with 2 deaths outside China attributed to the coronavirus.
The World Health Organization (WHO) advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus, and to educate themselves on the facts concerning (2019-nCoV).