Five Bahamian students ‘safe’ in epicenter of China coronavirus outbreak

Five Bahamian students are currently in Wuhan, China – the epicenter of the deadly coronavirus outbreak, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The city is on lockdown as a result of an outbreak of the virus.

There have been nearly 1,400 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 41 deaths globally.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Darren Henfield said yesterday there have been no confirmed cases of the virus among Bahamians in China.

Despite this, some Bahamians in Wuhan are living in fear of the unknown.

Luanettee Colebrooke, a doctoral student in Wuhan, is one of those Bahamians.

“As I type this it is a quarter to ten in Wuhan,” she said on Saturday in a post on Facebook.

“The streets are relatively quiet in my area besides the on and off of cars driving past on the highway outside my building. I can hear a television from my neighbors and the ticking of the clock on my wall.

“I can hear my little one snoring softly, wrapped in blankets from the cold air of winter. I have a bottle of unopened Tartalon wine in front of me and a mug of hot passion fruit lemon ginger tea. My night is just starting.”

She added, “How does it feel? I feel saddened, confused, angry and ready to pick up my little and leave. But where to? Why? Why leave?

“Leaving because of a lockdown? Leaving because of fear? No, [I’m] leaving to protect my little.”

The ministry said it, along with the Bahamas’ ambassador to China and other embassy officials, are monitoring the spread of the virus. It said the five students in Wuhan are safe.

“…[T]hey have been advised to comply with all safety and security advisories issued by the government of China,” the ministry said.

The ministry said the ambassador and his staff are in “close contact” with the students.

It also said the embassy is in contact with all Bahamian students and nationals in other parts of China.

Last week, Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said the virus has “the potential to become a pandemic”.

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