PrimeNewsGhana

Ghanaians advised to postpone trips to China as coronavirus death toll rises

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh

Ghana's Mission in China has advised Ghanaians to postpone their trips to China over the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Ghana's Deputy Ambassador to China, Dr Charles Dwamena in an interview with Joy FM said there will be the need for Ghanaians who do not have urgent appointments in China to postpone their visit.

"If you must travel to China it must be on an urgent thing on an assignment that can't be postponed, then you can make it but when you do get here you must take the necessary precaution to keep yourself safe. We always advise people that if your trip can be postponed please do, so that you can stay safe.

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Dr Charles Dwamena also revealed that no Ghanaian in the city of Wuhan has been affected by the virus so far.

"In that particular city we have about 300 Ghanaians citizens and as we speak no Ghanaian have been affected..."

Death toll

China has widened a lockdown in Hubei province - the centre of the coronavirus outbreak - as the death toll climbed to 25.

At least 10 cities in the central Chinese province, which has a population of 20 million, have travel restrictions in force.On Thursday, a coronavirus patient died in nearby Hebei province - making it the first death outside Hubei.

There are currently 830 confirmed cases of patients infected with the virus.

The lockdown comes on the eve of Lunar New Year, one of the most important dates in the Chinese calendar.

Millions of people typically travel home for the festival - but many in Hubei province will not be celebrating.

Restrictions vary from city to city - though many cities have suspended transport services.

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In Wuhan, the capital of Hubei - and the place where the virus originated - all bus, subway and ferry services have been suspended and all outbound planes and trains cancelled.

Residents have been advised not to leave, and roadblocks have been reported.

Ezhou, a smaller city in Hubei, shut its railway station. The city of Enshi has suspended all bus services.

But the impact of the coronavirus is not limited to Hubei province. Authorities have also cancelled major public events in other parts of the country, including:

Shut down of the Forbidden City, Beijing's palace complex
Cancellation of traditional temple fairs in Beijing
Cancellation of an international carnival in Hong Kong
Cancellation of annual football tournament in Hong Kong
Cancellation of all public Lunar New Year celebrations in Macau
The virus has spread across China and to countries as far as Japan, Thailand and the US.