An official diplomatic document has emerged showing that the Chinese Government detailed how 72 Nigerians tested positive for COVID-19 in Guangzhou, China.
The document, REF. No. SWZ 0128, dated April 22, 2020 by the Foreign Affairs Office, Guangzhou Municipal People’s Government, outlined the profile of the cases and advised Nigerians resident in China to comply with the law of their hosts in controlling the pandemic.
The PUNCH had published a story on Thursday, April 23, 2020, ‘Evacuation: 72 Nigerians, 111 other Africans in China test positive’, which some Nigerians have mounted a strident campaign against, claiming that the story was false.
Some Nigerians, especially those who claimed to be resident in China, had accused The PUNCH of propaganda and spreading falsehood, saying no Nigerian had tested positive for the virus in China.
The official communication between the two countries has, however, validated The PUNCH story that the Chinese Government actually wrote its Nigerian counterpart, informing the Federal Government of its staggering findings among Africans in Guangzhou.
The document, which was written to the Consulate General of Nigeria in Guangzhou, read in part, “The Foreign Affairs Office of Guangzhou Municipal People’s Government presents its compliments to the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Guangzhou and has the honour to summarise the current situation of Nigeria citizens in Guangzhou concerning the COVID-19 pandemic:
“According to the data reported on 21st April, 2020 by the Guangzhou Municipal Health Commission, among Nigerian citizens in Guangzhou, there are 16 confirmed cases, 56 cases have been tested positive and 65 cases of close contact.”
The letter added, “We hereby kindly request the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Guangzhou to urge Nigerian citizens in China to comply with the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Prevention and Treatment of Infections Diseases, Law of Frontier Health and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China, Public Health Emergency Regulations, etc.,support and cooperate with the Guangzhou Municipal People’s Government for any work related to the prevention and control of COVID-19.
“Also, remind them to carry out self-protection, reduce outdoor activities, avoid going to crowded areas; do not organise or participate in mass gathering.