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Bahamian Student in China Being Monitored for Coronavirus

by: - January 30, 2020
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Officials there, she said, have concerns and want to ensure she does not have the deadly coronavirus. “I have been placed in quarantine unfortunately in the city where I am at now. Basically, where I am staying the police and the nurses and doctors had to come to me and they basically asked me to monitor my temperature twice per day and send it in to the hospital,” Ms Robinson said.

“If there are any changes, then they’d have to send an ambulance to come or they would come.

“I’m told that the hospital now is not a place you want to go because they have become crowded. We are seeing on the news that the doctors are frustrated. They are just asking us to stay indoors.”

The incubation period for the coronavirus according to the World Health Organisation is two to 10 days. However officials in China have quarantined Ms Robinson for 14 days until they are able to clear her of having the deadly respiratory virus.

“I am just waiting for a follow-up visit because I have requested for a doctor to tell me if they can do a test because we’re finding out that there’s a test you can do and I would prefer to do a test instead of just waiting with temperature checks. I do plan to leave this city to go into another city and I would need clearance to do that. So that’s my main concern that they would give me clearance to leave and go into another city one that is further away to wait until all this blows over and school opens back up,” she said.

It has now been made mandatory for people in China to wear masks in order to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus, according to the Electronic Information Communication Engineering major.

“And now some correspondence came out saying that you must not go out without your mask like in Wuhan before I left, but there was still some persons walking around without it. But now they have made it mandatory that if you come out in public without a mask you can face a penalty and fines and possibly imprisonment, so you now have to where your mask when you leave your home.”

Meantime, Ms Robinson said the Bahamian Embassy in Beijing has been very supportive during this process.

And despite being unsure of when her university will re-open, Ms Robinson is not keen on returning to Nassau at this time due to the frustrations she could face in being blocked by several countries before returning.

“I have been in contact with the embassy here from since Thursday last week since I got a visit from the police and the doctors. And I think I share the same sentiments with the majority of students here. What is the point of going home because we know that our facilities home cannot handle this type of outbreak, because basically your symptoms do not show up. You can have and you can spread it and you do not have any symptoms, that’s the main concern,” she said.

The Nassauvian is a student at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) in Wuhan that has been updating students on the coronavirus outbreak since last year.

“We got word of the outbreak, that was before Christmas in December. At that time, we were told that it was not so much of an alarm. We were told at that time just persons who worked at the fish market or anyone who ate at the fish market or came into contact with anyone who was at the fish market or if you purchased any of the meat products or fish products.

“It was soon thereafter, maybe like the first week in January we noticed that the reports have changed, and it wasn’t animal-to-human it was now human-to-human, cause at that early time they were just reporting that it was animal to human. Then they realised it was spreading from human to human,” said Ms Robinson.

Ms Robinson left Wuhan on January 20 for a training workshop during their spring break. However upon her return, she discovered the city of Wuhan was shut down and was forced to go Nanjing nearby.

Before leaving, Ms Robinson said she went to see a doctor about issues with a sore throat. “I actually had to go to the doctor a week before I left Wuhan because I had a throat infection and that was my concern because they did say that if you are having any of the major symptoms which is coughing, sneezing, fever and headaches. I just had a throat infection that they deemed as laryngitis. And the doctors were very concerned and asked if I had contact with anyone at the fish market and I told them that I really spend most of my time on campus, so I didn’t really have any reason to leave. They were also concerned about where I ate food from, so I had to list all the places where I purchased food from, and they ruled them out of any of the places that had contaminated food from the market,” said Ms Robinson.

This as the latest reports from the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported 2798 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, 2741 in China, 461 severe and 80 deaths.

Like other universities, Ms Robinson’s university was expected to re-open in February but university officials have told them there is no firm date of when classes can resume.

She said: “School was scheduled to open the second week of February 14 or 15, but they sent out notice to say that it will not be opening at that time now. So, everyone is just sort of waiting and seeing what’s going on. Some students have left for their home country so their stuck there and others like me outside of the city and we can’t return. So, you have the choice to stay where you are at until it’s over or go back home.”