Ugandan students trapped in Wuhan, the Chinese epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic, have called on government to take swift action that will see them evacuated from China.
According to Uganda’s deputy Ambassador to China, Henry Mayega, and Uganda has a total of 71 students in Wuhan, a province where the virus was first confirmed. Chinese authorities have since assured Ugandans of safety following the outbreak of coronavirus in China.
As of January 3, 2020, World health organisation (WHO) reported that 17336 cases of acute respiratory disease were confirmed in 24 provinces, regions and cities and 21558 suspected cases in China. The virus has claimed 362 people.
Over 50 cases of the virus have also been confirmed in other countries in Europe and Asia. Progress as so far been registered with 505 cured cases. So far no case of novel coronavirus has been confirmed Uganda.
According to government Spokesperson Ofwono Opondo, Ugandans in Wuhan have been advised by President Museveni Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to remain there and observe all the precautionary measures placed by the Chinese government.
Yesterday, the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta said they have embarked of the program to see Kenyan students back home. “I am sure all East African students in Wuhan can fit in a KQ B787. For the spirit of the EAC please evacuate our Ugandan brothers and sisters too. Reach out to whoever you can reach out to Evacuate Ugandans in Wuhan” one Musoga wrote.
Following government failure evacuate them, students led by Thomas Kanzira, a Ugandan medical student in Wuhan have resorted to moving hashtag dubbed #EvacuateUgandansInWuhan sharing their agonizing stories since the outbreak of the virus.
“Hi Uganda Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I am 100 per cent sure that you’re seeing this tweet. I’m only here to beg you to Evacuate Ugandans in Wuhan. The situation in China as portrayed in the media isn’t what it really is. No shops or pharmacies with gloves, sanitizers and face masks. Nothing.” Thomas wrote on twitter.
“For two weeks we have cried and have been told to keep calm. We cannot keep calm down, we are frustrated, and we have run out of supplies and masks. The number of those infected is increasing rapidly. Help us” he said
He said two weeks back there were 639 cases and 17 deaths at the time of initiation of the Wuhan Lockdown, today there are 28,000 cases and 563 deaths…do you think these 28,000 people did not take ‘precautionary measures’.
“Please I don’t want to be the next person in those body bags. Is this the same Wuhan the Gov’t says we’re safer in, if I die here my body will be cremated. My people won’t even get a chance to bury me.” He said.
The Minister of Health, Jane Ruth Aceng, has since urged the Ugandan business community travelling back from China to adhere to our strict rules of isolation too. She said the ministry will continue screening all travelers since the virus is spread to many other countries but travelers from China will be isolated for 14 days for follow up.
“Please let’s do this willingly to ensure our country is safe. I appeal to all of you to wash hands at all times and report any suspected cases to nearest health facility” she said.