A South African student trapped in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak is appealing for help from the government.
Kamohelo Taole, a student at Hubei University in Wuhan, has called on the South African government to assist him get home.
Taole says, “I’m terrified because I’m currently at the epicentre of this epidemic, the virus started at a local market not far from my university – so it’s a bit terrifying. The school is keeping us safe by limiting human interaction with other people but we can’t be safe for sure. We are currently on lockdown and we’ve been on lockdown for two weeks now. We can’t even leave our rooms, we spend 24 hours in our rooms with nothing to do – this is scary we feel like we are in prison with no escape.
“So we can’t do anything, we can’t do anything because of this virus,” added Taole.
Appeal to verify info before sharing
Meanwhile, Eastern Cape health department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo has denied claims that a case of the coronavirus has been identified in the province, saying people should verify information before sharing it.
This comes after a post on social media alleged that the virus was detected at the East London plant of Mercedes Benz.
The vehicle manufacturer has refuted the rumour, saying that it has measures in place to detect, manage and contain possible case at its manufacturing operations.
Kupelo says there is no outbreak of the virus in the province or in the country.
He says, “The department would like to appeal to all mischievous elements to stop spreading lies about the outbreak of corona virus in the Eastern Cape. There is no outbreak of the virus in Eastern Cape or in the country. We appeal to people to stop spreading lies and causing unnecessary panic.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the flu-like virus a global emergency, but experts say its mortality and transmission rates are unknown. Pregnant women may be able to pass it to their unborn children, according to Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.
Asked about various media reports of “drug breakthroughs”, WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said: “There are no known effective therapeutics against this 2019-nCoV.”
It has been reported that the coronavirus has killed about 563, with over 70 deaths reported on Wednesday, most of them in the worst hit province of Hubei.
There are over 24 000 confirmed coronavirus cases in China, with 25 nations confirming a total of 191 cases.
The virus causes severe acute respiratory infection and symptoms usually start with a fever, followed by a dry cough.
(Source: SABC news)