A security personnel wearing protective clothing to help stop the spread of a deadly SARS-like virus which originated in the central city of Wuhan is seen at the entrance of subway station in Beijing on January 28, 2020. NOEL CELIS / AFP
While thousands of expatriates from wealthy countries will be airlifted out of Wuhan, the epicenter of the burgeoning coronavirus outbreak, African expats meantime confront a very different reality. In addition to the 4,600 African students currently in Wuhan, according to Quartz, there are hundreds more teachers and other professionals who are all are forced to stay within the city limits due to the strict quarantine that’s in force.
Unable to leave and unsure of what to do next, many of these young people have reached out to their embassies and consulates for assistance but to little avail. “I’m feeling like I’m trapped here,” said one Ethiopian student at Wuhan University of Science and Technology in an interview with the Associated Press. But he added that he and other students are reluctant to complain too loudly for fear of upsetting the Chinese government which could jeopardize their visa and/or academic scholarships.
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