This week, Ugandan students stranded in Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus in China yelled out to the government seeking to be evacuated from what they termed as a ‘horror’ experience.
Nile Post later established that there are about 67 students stuck in the coronavirus-stricken Chinese city of Wuhan. By January 29, 170 people had been declared dead with over 7,711 confirmed cases.
We reached out to Thomas Kanzira, a 25-year-old Ugandan Medical student at Jianghan University, for an account of how life has changed ever since the lockdown due to coronavirus.
“When you wake up, you make yourself breakfast and get onto your phone to check the death toll and move on to watch movies or TV shows…there’s nothing else to do,” he said.
Kanzira says the new life has a yawning difference from how things were before the virus struck.
“In the good days, we had a few activities we could organize amongst our selves, we would visit each other and have barbecue parties or play board games together to unwind,” he claimed.
“But now we can’t even visit friends because we all fear each other.”
Kanzira states that the fear of contact amongst his colleagues and the rest is so serious because it is hard to trust anyone at the moment.
Asked how he manages to maintain food supply at his hostel accommodation, Kanzira said that he goes shopping in protective gear just once since even the very efficient town service transport system has been paralyzed.
“If there is urgent need to do anything outside this apartment or maybe buy any necessity, I take an electric scooter from one of the Ugandans here, pull on my protective gear. I actually wear two face masks to be safe.”
Food is scarce
But even with such conditions while shopping, Kanzira claims that food is very scarce and one can hardly find something in the nearby environs.
“Food is scarce and only one place is open about 6km from here, if the virus does not kill us, then hunger will.”“We are depressed and beyond frustrated, we need to be evacuated from here before things escalate.”
The government turned a deaf ear
Kanzira is not happy that the government has failed to come to their rescue despite the continued outcry of students and other Ugandans stranded in China, specifically Wuhan.
“We have reached out but they not been of any use, all they have said is we should follow the guidelines the authorities are issuing and stay safe,” he lamented.
According to Aljazeera news, Morocco and Egypt have moved to evacuate their citizens, while Algeria also chartered a plane to bring its people home, as well as nationals from Libya, Mauritania and Tunisia.
Kenya this week also announced it would evacuate the 85 Kenyans stuck in Wuhan, but only when authorities lift the lockdown.
Based on local media reports, authorities in other African countries, including the governments of Zimbabwe, Sudan, Uganda and Zambia, are among those to have expressed confidence in the Chinese government’s ability to keep their nationals safe, thus suggesting that evacuation is not on the cards. Instead, they have urged people to remain indoors and follow instructions given by China’s authorities.
Pray for us- Another Ugandan student calls out
New Vision reported of Juliet Nsiima, another Ugandan student stranded in Wuhan.
Nsiima claims only asks that people ‘pray for our safety (we are hundreds of Ugandans living here) during this lockdown and the recovery of this ever-changing and vibrant city.’