Health Minister Dr. Irving McIntyre has announced amid assurances that the government of Dominica has sent funds to students studying in Wuhan city China – ground zero for the novel Coronavirus epidemic.
“All Dominican nationals in the People’s Republic of China are safe to-date,” he said. “There is no need to panic.”Dr. McIntyre told the media during a press conference Wednesday.
The announcement comes on the heels of the continuous spread of the deadly Coronavirus in Wuhan and the awareness that there are Dominica students studying there.
Currently there are actually 84 students studying in China, 15 in Wuhan City and 3 out of China on vacation.
But Dr. McIntyre said the Government of the People’s Republic of China has given every assurance that this pandemic will be brought under control within a few weeks.
The health minister said his ministry has been in touch with Dominican nationals especially those in the Coronavirus infected Providence of Wuhan.
And, each student presently in Wuhan was sent additional funds to assist.
“It’s just a precaution, to assist in the purchase of water and other essentials,” he stated.
Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus, Dr McIntyre said “everyone has been advised to wear face masks. As a result, there has been a shortage of face masks.”
Dr. McIntyre indicated that it is not advisable for any of the students to leave Wuhan City at this time.
“Because there is a 14-day incubation period a person can display the symptoms, it is not advisable for anyone to leave Wuhan City at the moment,” he said.
If students were to attempt to leave China, Dr McIntyre explained that there must be a receiving country, the USA, France, Germany, London, Holland where they would have to be quarantined.
There must be a special charter with the nationals departing China under international travel guidelines for prevention and control.
Also, assuming there are nationals who may test positive, that receiving country must have the infrastructure in place to deal with the cure or treatment of the virus, he explained further.
Meantime McIntyre said Dominican students in Wuhan are in good spirits and they fully understand the risks involved in leaving.
“They have been extremely vigilant. In cases of emergency there are hotline numbers available to the students,” he said.
Dr. McIntyre said the Embassy of Dominica and Grenada will collaborate and coordinate efforts in getting essential supplies to Dominican nationals in China.