Coronavirus outbreak: Auckland international students 'worried' and 'scared'

Empire apartments.
Empire apartments. Photo credit: Googlemaps.

Auckland international students living in the Empire apartments near AUT say they're anxious and scared.

According to Chinese international students, they were allegedly told to stay in their rooms for two weeks.

"Someone from the building said to us in person that we have to stay in our rooms, or inside, for two weeks if we'd just come back from China," international student Grace Tong told NZME. 

The complex appears to be taking all measures of precautions by hanging a sign warning occupants of coronavirus symptoms and placing Dettol in the lifts.

But experts warn there is no evidence Dettol can cure the deadly coronavirus despite social media posts suggesting it will.

Dettol itself says it has not tested its product against the lethal Wuhan strain yet.

According to a French international student, anxiety is growing and spreading throughout the building. 

"I'm extremely worried because the people coming in [to the apartments] every-day - they're tourists. So every-day is a chance," she told NZME.

"We know nothing, we're just scared."

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the coronavirus outbreak is now a global public health emergency.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday (NZ time) the concern wasn't what was happening in China but in countries less prepared to deal with the deadly virus.

"We don't know what kind of damage this virus could do if it were to spread to a country with a weaker health system."

He said it was not a vote of no confidence in China's ability to control the outbreak.

Despite the fear, Auckland's recently suspected coronavirus victim has been cleared by health officials.

While Air New Zealand has suspended all flights to Shanghai and New Zealand has issued a "do not travel" warning for the Hubei province of China due to the recent outbreak of coronavirus that has killed nearly 300 people.

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