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Faizel Patel - 05/02/2020

(Twitter: @FaizelPatel143)

 

A South African professor living in Hong Kong and whose son is teaching in China has told Radio Islam there is an uneasy calm in China as the country battles to contain the Coronavirus.

Almost 500 people have died from the virus in China while more than 20,000 patients are being treated.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the flu-like virus a global emergency, although experts say much is still unknown about the pathogen including its lethality.

Speaking to Radio Islam, Professor Salim Akoojee says daily activities in China are on a go-slow as the country deals with the Coronavirus.

“Instead of waiting 5 minutes for a train, you wait ten minutes. Shops are quite generally normal. The schools have closed until 2 March. Most government offices, libraries, stadiums, they’ve all closed and in general there’s a tendency to encourage people not to gather."

Akoojee says while there are concerns that the Coronavirus is spreading, there is no need for panic and the Chinese government is doing all it can to contain the virus.

“These kind of situations do tend to create unusual behavior at some level and there’s tendency for sensationalism."

At the same time, Chinese nationals living in South Africa say that they are worried about the return of travellers from China following the lunar New Year celebrations.

New Year festivities which were supposed to take place in Joburg suburbs were postponed as a precautionary measure due to the coronavirus being declared a global emergency.

 

Listen to the interview with Professor Salim Akoojee