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WATCH: 20 Chinese nationals quarantined in Namibia as coronavirus fears mount

By Jonisayi Maromo Time of article published Feb 19, 2020

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Pretoria - About 20 Chinese nationals working for a granite mine in Namibia have been quarantined as the country intensifies efforts to block the current coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, local media reported. 

The Namibian online reported that concerns of the Chinese workers’ presence were raised with government’s health officials by community members, which resulted in an inspection of the mine compound. 

The Chinese nationals were quarantined as a precautionary routine. The group reportedly entered Namibia legally, via the Hosea Kutako International Airport, were they were screened and cleared.

Health officials, quoted by The Namibian online, said the group flew into the sparsely populated southern African nation from China at the end of January, and had gone to the mine site for a few days' training. 

Additional screening by health ministry officials done at Karibib has also cleared the Chinese nationals of any symptoms of Covid-19, according to The Namibian publication.

Karibib is a town in the Erongo Region of western Namibia. 

In Pretoria on Tuesday, Ambassador of China to South Africa Lin Songtian said notable progress was being registered in China’s “arduous fight” against the deadly novel coronavirus.

Addressing local and international media at the embassy, Lin said the situation across China was now showing a positive trend of defeating the outbreak, except in the Hubei province, where the pandemic originated. 

He also confirmed that no South Africans in China had contracted the virus. 

“After nearly one month of arduous fight, China has achieved positive outcomes in combating the epidemic. The situation in the whole country and Hubei province has shown a positive trend,” Lin said.

“The number of both the new confirmed and suspected cases has been declining continuously, the death toll remains low, and the cure rate has been increasing and rising significantly. 

"As of February 17 [Monday], the number of new confirmed cases per day in the whole country has dropped from 3 887 on 4 February to 1 886.”

He said the number of new confirmed cases in all provinces except Hubei had dropped from 890 on 3 February to 79 on Monday.

“The number of new suspected cases in the whole country has been declining for 12 consecutive days from 5,328 on 5 February to 1,432 on 17 February.

“The number of new suspected cases in provinces except Hubei has been dropping for 11 consecutive days from 2,211 on 6 February to 644 on 17 February.

"As of Monday, 1 868 people have died of novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) nationwide, with a mortality rate of about 2.5 percent and 0.6 percent in provinces except Hubei. Since last Wednesday, more than 1 000 people have been cured per day.”

Lin said more than 12 500 patients had been treated and discharged from hospitals. Efforts had been made to protect the lives of the millions of foreign nationals living across China, including half a million foreign students, he said.

“Up to now, only 27 foreigners have been infected with NCP in China and only two of them died of the virus. This fully demonstrates that the spread of the epidemic in China has been effectively brought under control and the foreigners in China are safe.

“We are proud to say that remarkable achievements have been scored in China’s prevention and control efforts,” Lin said.

African News Agency (ANA)

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