Students calling for help

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MORE than 20 PNG students living and studying in Wuhan city, Hubei province, China, are calling on the Government to evacuate them as the Coronavirus death toll hit 56.
The city is the epicenter of the deadly coronavirus which has spread to other countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Nepal and the United States.
Ancilla Dalai, a third-year student pursuing a Petroleum Engineering course at the China University of Geoscience in Wuhan, told The National in an exclusive interview that the situation was “very intense” and in total lockdown, with no one allowed to enter or leave.
“There are more than 20 Papua New Guinea students studying in universities around Wuhan where the Coronavirus outbreak occurred.
“If our Government is not able to (carry out) an emergency evacuation for us, we are asking if it can at least support us with respiratory masks and hand sanitisers. We also need food and water as all shops and pharmacies are closed,” she said.
Dalai said they had tried to contact the PNG embassy in Beijing but had not received any response.
“We are very scared, just locked up in our dormitories. And we are running low on supplies,” she said.
More than 1,400 people in China have been affected by the virus – traced to a seafood market in Wuhan that was illegally selling wildlife.
China warns that the virus is mutating and can be transmitted through human contact, mostly affecting the frail and old.



  • What is our PNG Ambassador and staff doing to assist the students? Our Embassy Office should be the first immediate contact to ensure all PNG Citizens, especially the students are taken care of or evacuate them out of the University Campus.

  • PNG Government, this an urgent and emergency call. Respond quick as soon as possible so no one can be affected.

  • The government must call the embassy to do something about this. Can’t leave them in a vulnerable situation like that.

    SARS and now Coronavirus. What’s the next “Made in China” disease?

  • Every other Embassy would check for any of their citizens in emergency situations like that. What is the PNG embassy in Beijing doing? Don’t they have any records of PNG citizens studying in China? It’s sad if your mother country forgets you or doesn’t even seem to care for you.

  • At the moment they cannot be brought back to PNG, people need to understand that these people may already be infected and by bringing them back will put the rest of all the people in PNG at risk. Yes, we feel for them, but the bigger picture is needed here or many people will die in PNG, PNG is not prepared to handle any outbreak.

  • America has a great concern for every citizens within and also those living in overseas in terms of everything that he or she might need.
    Our Government must have this kind of mentality. Who will help if government of our country don’t to help???

  • Ahhhhh, Barry Trewin, that is exactly what I thought after reading this passage. Anyway, PNG Embassy in china is fully responsible for them.

  • Atleast PNG Govt should think of an positive approach to negotiate for the safety of our people out there, they are in times of need and are in imminent danger of contracting the disease, thier families here are also affected emotionally,

  • The embassy in China should already have responded to the students and assisted them with masks and other things needed.Their communication to the students in this crisis situation is very important and the whole reason for having an office established out there in the first place. in addition the government must do it’s part to advise the embassy to assist the students as they consider how to deal with the situation and the likely reprecussions here with the state of the countries preparedness to handle an outbreak of this magnitude .

  • So call ambassador/Government soul be quick response before, rather waiting for the public call…

  • PNG Government is represented through its Embassy in China and the Embassy is fully aware of the situation of our students in Wuhad, they will do everything to assist firstly with their immediate need for water and food, then assess their condition to establish whether any of the student had contracted the virus before making any decision to have them evacuated to a safe place or back home.We must have patients and trust in our Abassador/staff do what is best both for our students and our country.
    We must also understand that Coronavirus is deadly and infections and spread (now) from human to human. Its symptoms hidernates for couple of weeks before it shows out. PNG is not prepared to contain an outbreak if the virus does enter the country. let us hope and pray frevently that none of the student will contract the virus and the virus does not enter the country.

  • Wake up call for PNG Ambassador to China.
    We are begging your urgent assistance to our children in China.

  • I am with Barbie boss, PNG does not have facilities and way of life in our societies is not condition to contain the infection, the embassy must do everything to ensure our students studying in universities are free from infection before they are brought back on shore.

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