NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Officials of the Chinese Embassy in The Bahamas yesterday sought to allay the fears of Bahamians over the growing pandemic of a novel coronavirus which started in Wuhan, China.
The World Health Organization (WHO has declared the outbreak “a public health emergency of international concern”, and declared the official name for the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) as COVID-19.
Chinese Ambassador to the Bahamas Huang Qinguo gave an update about the situation in China and ongoing prevention and control measures during a press conference at the Chinese Embassy on Shirley Street.
Qinguo said since the outbreak the Chinese government has taken comprehensive and strict prevention and control and has engaged in international cooperation in an “open, transparent, and responsible manner”.
He noted that as of February 12, the cure rate had reached a new high to 10.6 percent.
“The Chinese government has the firm resolve and has taken vigorous measures to prevent the spread of the disease,” Qinguo continued.
“The reason why these measures go far beyond the recommendations of the WHO is to prevent the epidemic from further spreading within the shortest time possible.
“This will continue to be the most important work.
“We will try our best to treat the infected, strengthen the epidemic prevention and control efforts in key areas. and we are enhancing international cooperation on epidemic prevention and control, and on scientific research.”
He added, “We are confident that under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China, and with the strengths of socialist system with Chinese characteristics which enable us to concentrate resources to accomplish large undertakings, the solidarity and perseverance of the Chinese people, and the broad support from the international community, we will beat the virus.”
In efforts to prevent the outbreak from spreading, the Bahamas government has implemented a travel ban, blocking entry into the country to any non-resident who has visited China in the last 20 days and places all returning residents from the country in quarantine for 14 days.
The ban however does not include the restriction of trade from the country.
To date, there remains no suspected, reported or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas, according to the Ministry of Health, and at least six people have been released from quarantine after showing no symptoms.
According to WHO’s daily situation report yesterday, there were nearly 47,000 confirmed cases of the virus globally, of which 46,500 are on mainland China.
There have been nearly 1,400 deaths as a result of the virus, with just one occurring outside of China.
“Overnight 14,840 cases, including 13,332 clinically diagnosed cases were reported from Hubei,” the report said.
“This is the first time China has reported clinically diagnosed cases in addition to laboratory-confirmed cases.
“For consistency, we report here only the number of laboratory-confirmed cases.
“WHO has formally requested additional information on the clinically diagnosed cases, in particular when these have occurred in the course of the outbreak and whether suspect cases were reclassified as clinically diagnosed cases.”