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Some Bahamians studying abroad say they feel safe

Two Bahamians studying abroad said yesterday they are not concerned over the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, which has been deemed a pandemic.

Alvardo Minnis, 25, who is studying in Besancon, France, and Brandon Huyler, 24, who is studying in Florida, both said they feel safe, despite the spread of the virus across Europe and the U.S. in recent weeks.

Minnis is studying at university and working in secondary schools in Besancon.

As of yesterday, there were over 2,000 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in France and 48 deaths. There were three confirmed cases in Besancon.

“For the most part, classes in the university and the high schools have not been canceled,” Minnis said.

“Students continue to go to classes like normal without a mask, and it’s really interesting to see how it’s perceived here and how it’s perceived in the media.”

He added, “There has never been an official announcement to close any schools and universities.”

Minnis said he believes the French government has done a good job in making him feel safe.

“For the most part I still feel safe in France,” he said.

“I feel the government is being very transparent with all citizens and non-citizens alike.”

He added, “I think, in general, we all need to be knowledgeable about it. Read reliable sources of news. Be careful of social media and how they present the information.”

Huyler, who studies at Florida International University in Miami, Florida, said he isn’t overly concerned, despite there being nearly 30 confirmed cases of the virus in the state.

“I do feel pretty safe,” Huyler said.

“I’m not sick or anything of course.

“I don’t feel as though it’s as big as everybody is making it seem.

“I’m not trying to downplay anything or say that it’s not that serious, but to me, it’s not that big of a deal.

“I feel as though as long as everybody just tries their best to keep safe and stay healthy without going overboard, then everything is going to be fine once everybody can get in and do the testing that they need to do and figure out exactly what’s going on.

“But for me, I don’t feel that it’s that big of a deal.”

There were over 120,000 cases of the virus across the globe. Over 4,700 people have died, with the majority of deaths in mainland China.

The virus has been spreading throughout the United States, where there were over 1,300 confirmed cases and 38 deaths.

The Bahamas has imposed a travel ban against China, Italy, Iran and South Korea due to the virus.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced restricted travel from Europe to the United States because of the new coronavirus for 30 days starting today.

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Rachel Knowles

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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