We want to come home, Nigerian students in Wuhan beg

Some Nigerian students in Wuhan, China have called on the Federal Government to evacuate them as cases of the novel coronavirus disease, also called COVID-19, keep rising in the city.

The students told our correspondent that they were getting traumatised, having had to stay indoors for about a month with little or no human contact.

Wuhan is the epidemic centre of the coronavirus in China and the world at large. It first recorded the outbreak of the disease on December 31, 2019.

Since then, the disease has spread across the world with over 86,000 cases recorded as of Sunday. Over 2,900 deaths have been recorded worldwide while more than 39,000 have recovered.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian students in Wuhan acknowledged receiving the Federal Government’s recent donation of RMB235,000 (N12m) to them and other Nigerians living in Wuhan.

But they complained that the bulk of the money given to them had already been spent on food supplies, hand gel sanitisers, disinfectants, face masks, hand gloves, as well as electricity, internet and phone bills.

“Coming home isn’t and shouldn’t be negotiable. No amount of money can compensate for the psychological and emotional trauma we are going through.

“We have had none to very limited human contact for a month. The money sent isn’t sufficient as prices have increased significantly. How long would we have to endure this? No one is certain,” one of the students simply identified as Samuel said.

Samuel added that he received a part of the N12m donation to them on February 26, explaining that he had spent it to purchase food supplies, water, hand sanitisers, disinfectants, face masks, hand gloves, among others.

The student expressed worries that the government had not shown any sign of evacuating them, saying if they were not evacuated within two weeks, it might seem the government donated the N12m to keep them in China.

Another student, simply identified as Dave, said no financial gesture from the Federal Government could replace that of evacuating them from Wuhan.

“Inasmuch as we received money from the Federal Government, we still want to be evacuated because staying indoors for almost a month now is really affecting us psychologically, coupled with the fact that the virus outbreak is still on the rise,” he said.
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