COVID-19. Exclusive conversation with Hafit Alaqouri, a Libyan student in Wuhan
I wish the world to take responsibility towards themselves and their families and to follow the news and the prevention measures from reliable sources like WHO and not feel fear because this crisis will pass and we will learn from it a lot, it will become a great experience for everyone”. To speak is Hafit Alaqouri a Libyan student in Wuhan, epicentre of Coronavirus outbreak in China where he lives for a year and four months studying a master’s degree in Computer Science.
You were in Wuhan from the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, why did you choose to stay there and not return to Libya?
“I decided to stay voluntarily so that my Chinese friends who stood with me and helped me did not grieve, I got to know many Chinese friends here and most of the reasons I got to know them for the purpose of helping me even in the simplest things and I spent my best times with them and they were on all their local occasions in the city calling me to participate with them and celebrate with them I lived the most beautiful times with them and all the difficulties that I faced in the city were easily disappearing with their help. In return, I also participated in many volunteer jobs inside and outside Wuhan city where I left Wuhan to another city 600 kilometres away for a period of 20 days to help a poor village to teach their children English and also one of my most prominent voluntary contributions here through my presence in the first year in Wuhan I participated in the Military World Games 2019, in October as a tourist guide in the yellow crane tower which is an ancient historical legacy in the city for more than 1700 years and I helped many foreigners and athletes who provided from everywhere in the world learning about the history of Wuhan and from here I learned a lot about the history of Wuhan and China in general”.
How is the situation there?
“The situation was catastrophic in the first weeks of the Coronavirus epidemic outbreak, but the situation began to improve to the better from February 19, until March 18 that day, when no new cases were confirmed in Wuhan until March 21”.
How did you live this period? What were the main difficulties you faced?
“Since the epidemic began spreading here in Wuhan at the end of last December, I bought all the necessary needs, prepared for a crisis that might be prolonged, and began spending most of my time inside my dormitory at the university and sometimes went out to help when they ask me, and I help the staff of the school to bring the needs of students and spent most of my time working on my graduation project, reading books and watch my favorite shows. Recently, we played football with friends in the inner yard and it was very wonderful for me because I love playing this game, and since the beginning of the spread of the epidemic I have start cooking food in my room and to use all precautionary measures to keep from being exposed to this serious epidemic”.
What measures have been taken by the Chinese government to prevent the spread of the virus?
“It is impressive, many quick decisions were made to decrease the outbreak of this epidemic inside Wuhan in the beginning, and then they start fighting it. The first decisions were to curfew and the closure of all transportation. After the outbreak increased, the city of Wuhan was completely lucked down on January 23, and also issued decisions to wear the mask and call thousands of doctors from all over China from the beginning and build and equip many shelters to treat the infected cases. All the shops and activities closed and who was working in the few companies still open, was not able to go back home. Also, cars circulation shot down and people can go out only to buy food or to go to pharmacy. In the last decisions that prevented the outbreak of the disease also inside the city, the areas inside the city were closed, and no one can leave a district to another district within the city of Wuhan, and this helped in the decline of the epidemic outbreak until today, recently, no new cases were confirmed in Wuhan and the city remains closed until Today”.
As you know, the conflict continues in Libya. What do you want to say to who underestimate the virus?
“Coronavirus has proven to us the speed of its spread and infecting all ages, no matter who you are or where you are, possibly this virus is near from you if we don’t take the measure protection we risking of our lives and relatives’, and so far no cure has been found and most of the countries of the world are suffering from the outbreak of this epidemic that has claimed the lives of many of their compatriots. Therefore, I hope that the citizens of Libya take the matter seriously, not only to protect themselves, but to protect their families and their children”.
What are the good prevention rules you learned in Wuhan that you want to share with us?
“According to my personal experience, the Prevention of this epidemic, is divided into three important parts: first of all, is the personal hygiene and the surrounding environment should be clean properly. Second of all, is to increase immunity in ourselves, and this is done through healthy food, and reasonable hours sleeping and simple indoors exercise and the last part is not to going out and not communicating with anyone, even from your relatives, so that they don’t harm you or you don’t harm them. It’s great prevention that you keep yourself indoors to stay healthy and safe”.