- 500 dead, 28,018 infected in China
The governor of Taraba State Darius Ishaku has expressed optimism that China would overcome the deadly coronavirus epidemic.
Ishaku, represented by the State Deputy Governor Haruna Manu expressed optimism during a courtesy call by the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian at the Government House in Jalingo.
The Governor assured the ambassador that his administration had been collaborating with the Chinese in the areas of road construction and other critical infrastructure in the state.
He appreciated the enormous contributions of the Chinese to the socio-economic development of the state in particular and Nigeria at large.
He assured the ambassador that the Chinese citizens would continue to be protected and their welfare would not be taken for granted.
Ishaku said the Chinese who were residents in the state have been living a productive and peaceful life with the people of the state.
He appreciated the role played by the Chinese toward the development of the state.
He said his administration remained committed toward strengthening bilateral ties with the Chinese especially in the areas of trade and construction among others.
The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian advised the people of Taraba not to panic as the Chinese Government was working harder to curtail the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
The Ambassador said the purpose of his visit to the state was to explore ways of strengthening bilateral cooperation with the state government.
He said that the cooperation would go a long way in improving the socio-economic development of the two partners.
He recalled that the Nigeria -China bilateral trade in the past had reached a historical height of over 19 billion dollars and urged for the continuation of the beneficial relationship.
The ambassador advised his compatriot to live in peace with Nigerians and to respect the locals and their cultures as well as obey the constituted authority.
Pingjian stressed that the inception of Forum on China African Cooperation for 2020 had increased significantly the Nigeria -China bilateral relationships.
The Chinese ambassador appreciated the hospitality of Taraba people toward the Chinese citizens.
According to him, the relationship between Nigeria and China can only be described as that of twin brothers as the two countries shared a lot of similarities.
Meanwhile, death toll from a new coronavirus that originated in China reached 563 with 28,018 people confirmed infected, health authorities said on Thursday.
China’s National Health Commission said 73 people had died over a 24-hour interval.
The virus has spread to about two dozen countries since first being identified in December, prompting the World Health Organisation to declare a global emergency.
Countries around the world have been flying their citizens out of the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the disease, while in Japan and Hong Kong thousands of tourists were quarantined aboard two cruise ships after reports of the coronavirus on board.
The Japanese health ministry said on Thursday that another 10 people on the cruise ship tested positive for the coronavirus, after the first 10 infections were detected Wednesday.
Japan quarantined thousands of passengers and crew members on the Diamond Princess ship off Yokohama, south of Tokyo.
However, Japan planned to dispatch another chartered plane later in the day to bring back about 200 more people from Wuhan.
The coronavirus broke out at a seafood market in Wuhan that reportedly sold exotic animals for consumption – similar to the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
SARS, a disease that infected 8,000 people and killed 800 globally between 2002 and 2003, and also began in China, was linked to the consumption of civet cats, another exotic meat.
The coronavirus belongs to the same family of viruses.
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