Tanzanians in China recount experience in race against Corona virus

Sunday February 02 2020

Medical staff members wearing protective clothing to help stop the spread of a deadly virus which began in the Wuhan city, walk next to patients waiting for medical attention at the Wuhan Red Cross Hospital in Wuhan on January 25, 2020. PHOTO | FILE

Dar es Salaam. Mr Gustav Sanga, a PhD student studying in China says most public places are closed in Xi’an, a province far from Wuhan-the source of the Corona Virus outbreak, as emergency measures to control the outbreak continue.

“…we are not allow to hang around. Everyone must remain indoors, even though we are not in the place where the outbreak emerged,” says Sanga as he narrates the trials and tribulations of living in a country where an outbreak of the Corona Virus has so far claimed more than 250 lives in China, leaving 11,791 others infected.

According to government reports, most fatalities until yesterday were from Hubei province. The city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, is located in Hubei. However, the virus is spreading across the world. More than 20 countries now affected, including Spain and the United Kingdom, ACCORDING TO World Health Organization (WHO)

Mr Sanga says life in China has changed. “When you get a chance to go out to buy basic needs, you are obliged to get back into the house immediately. We are advised to wear a face mask to protect ourselves from the disease at all time.”

Everyone is worried, he says. “This is not affecting only the foreigners but also the Chinese peopled because officials here are saying the virus is spreading very fast.”

“Supermarkets are opening for some few hours and closing,” he tells The Citizen.


For another student living in Wuhan, the province where the outbreak begin, she says the government has directed that all public transport be suspended.

The student fears to have her name printed in the newspaper because she fears that her family in Tanzania could read this information and panic.

“…we rely only on small vehicles to go supermarkets to buy things, “she says.

Also Lilian Mboay who also lives in China in the Hazhou province says no holiday activities are allowed,”My school has closed but all entrance and exit points no one can go out the streets, “ she said

“This is Chinese New Year holiday so we are on holiday so we are just inside.”

On Thursday, the Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa has called on parents and guardians with students studying in China to ensure that the learners who have been in the country for holidays do not return to the Asian nation until further notice.

The same massage also goes to the business community, but because students may be tempted to travel back to continue with studies the government was appealing to parents to ensure that no one goes back there at this time.