As China continues to fight the scourge of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, Chinese officials on Thursday confirmed that no Nigerian resident in China has contacted the disease.
The Chinese government in its daily official newsletter on the status of the disease said 29 foreigners have been infected with the disease out of which 18 have been cured.
No Nigerian was among the infected foreigners.
“29 foreign citizens in China have been infected. Among them, 18 had recovered and were discharged from hospital, two were dead and nine are still under quarantine and treatment,” it stated.
China, since December, has been battling with the outbreak of the new coronavirus. This has put a lot of stress on the Chinese health service and economy at large.
The disease which was detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province, has spread across the country and has been exported to over 25 other countries.
At the onset of the outbreak, many foreigners living in China, including Nigerians, had pleaded with their governments to evacuate them out of the country.
However, the Nigerian government had insisted that it would not as it saw no reason to do so.
Reduction In Cases
Meanwhile, the Chinese government said there has been a drop in the number of confirmed cases of the disease in the last few days.
It said the daily cured people now surpasses the newly confirmed cases for the first time.
According to China’s National Health Commission, 12 out of 31 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) on Chinese mainland are seeing no new daily confirmed COVID-19 cases.
As at 6 a.m. Geneva time Thursday morning, China had reported 74,675 cases of COVID-19 to the World Health Organisation, including 2,121 deaths.
The National Health Commission said a total of 74,576 confirmed cases were reported on the Chinese mainland, including 2,118 deaths. Also, 16,155 patients cured and discharged from hospital.
It said there still remains 4,922 suspected cases.
“So far, 126,363 are now under medical observation, who have been identified as having had close contact with infected patients.
“Statistics show that the epidemic has been kept in check. Nationwide, except for Hubei province, the growth rates of confirmed infections, suspected cases, and patients under medical observation are all showing a steady decline”
“The number of confirmed infections in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan province had risen to 99 in total, according to the commission.”
WHO chief, Tedros Ghebreyesus, in his daily press briefing said the data from China is encouraging as it has continued to show a decline in new confirmed cases.
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“Once again, we’re encouraged by this trend, but this is no time for complacency,” he said.
Meanwhile, outside China, there are now 1076 cases in 26 countries, with a total of seven deaths.
In the past 24 hours, Iran has reported five cases, two of whom have died.
Of all cases outside China, more than half are among passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
WHO said the first passengers have now disembarked, providing they have a negative test, no symptoms and no contact with a confirmed case in the past 14 days.
Also, Japan has advised passengers to stay at home for a further 14 days and monitor their temperature and has set up a hotline for passengers to call if they have concerns.
WHO said it is also monitoring the evolution of the outbreak and working with countries and partners to coordinate the global response.
“As you know, a WHO-led international team of experts is now on the ground in China, working with their Chinese counterparts to find answers to some of the things we don’t know, including the transmissibility of the virus and the impact of the measures that China has taken.”
While countries continue coordinating responses and improving surveillance on the disease, scientists have been busy trying to find answers to curb the spread of the disease.
Mr Ghebreyesus said the agency has been in constant discussions with clinical experts who are treating patients infected with COVID-19, including front-line workers in China, to share information about the progression of the disease and what works and what does not in treatment.
He said they have set up an online platform where clinicians can share anonymized patient data, so we can build a clearer picture of the disease.
“What we’re seeing is that the earlier patients are tested and treated, the better they do.
“We’re also looking forward to results from two clinical trials of therapeutics prioritized by the WHO R&D Blueprint.
“One combines two drugs for HIV, lopinavir and ritonavir, and the other is testing an antiviral called remdisivir. We expect preliminary results in three weeks,” he said