Ugandan students in Wuhan the epicenter of the coronavirus in China have cried out to government asking to be evacuated from what they’ve termed as a ‘horror experience.’
The students have said that they cannot keep calm anymore as some of them have run out of supplies and masks as the number of virus infections continues to rapidly increase in the Wuhan province of China and beyond.
By February 5, 2020, the number of new infections had increased by over five times in one week with 28,018 cases of the virus confirmed in 25 countries including China. 563 deaths had been recorded in China and 2 deaths in Hong Kong and Philippines.
Using the #EvacuateUgandansInWuhan hashtag on Twitter, Ugandan students have now demanded for government action adding that they are willing to be quarantined for the prescribed 14 days while on Ugandan soil.
Uganda has a total of 71 students studying in various universities and institutions in Wuhan and over 400 students across mainland China.
If I die from here, my body will be cremated
Thomas Kanzira, a Ugandan medical student in China who started the hash tag said that he doesn’t want to die from China because if he does, his family will never see him again.
“Please, I don’t want to be the next person in those body bags. Is this the same Wuhan the government says we’re safer in? If I die here my body will be cremated. My people won’t even get a chance to bury me,”
Another student only identified as Derrick said that Wuhan is in horror and one risks being arrested or expelled from university if caught moving outside.
“The lockdown means that you have to stay within your premises without moving an inch outside or risk being arrested. It is draining. We are not okay!”
“The situation in China as portrayed in the media isn’t what it really is. No shops or pharmacies with gloves, sanitizers and facemasks. Nothing.”
Alice Lukanga, another Ugandan student in Wuhan said that the situation is terrifying and whatever the media is reporting is not even half of what is really happening.
“Being coped up in your house when people are out there dropping dead like flies is terrifying that’s for sure. Other people’s governments are evacuating them and yours is leaving you on that sinking ship to die all alone,” Lukanga said.
In a separate conversation with this reporter, one of the students who asked for anonymity said that they are on their own and the embassy of Uganda in China had abandoned them.
“We just got a message about two weeks ago in our group from a representative the embassy asking us to follow Chinese authorities guidelines. We are clearly on our own,” he said.
Speaking to NBS Television on Monday this week, Uganda’s Deputy Head of Mission in China Henry Mayega said that the country has no evacuation plans because the process is costly.
Mayiga said that Uganda was in touch with the Chinese government and they were confident the authorities in China have put measures in place to ensure safety of all the people in Wuhan.
On Wednesday evening, the minister for Health, Ruth Aceng, said that government had earmarked Shs 25 billion to contain the virus from entering Uganda but the minister did not talk about evacuation plans.
The minister also said at least 100 people from China were quarantined in different places in Uganda and these will be monitored for two weeks.
According to the minister, these include 40 Chinese nationals and the rest are Ugandans including three students who came from China.