Ethiopian in lockdown city: I’m scared when I sneeze

Soliana Aregawi
Soliana Aregawi has lived in Wuhan for four yearsImage caption: Soliana Aregawi has lived in Wuhan for four years

An Ethiopian graduate who is stuck in Wuhan, the epicentre of the new coronavirus outbreak in China, says it is scary living in a city in lockdown.

Soliana Aregawi has told the BBC that she orders food and groceries online and that her family call frequently as they are worried.

“They call me everyday, sometimes twice, and I keep telling them that I’m fine,” she said.

Ms Soliana said she had had flu-like symptoms, which are similar to those of the new virus, but after a while they disappeared.

“I was sneezing one time and I got really scared – sometimes one can get paranoid,” she said.

The weather in Wuhan has been cold and so people have been getting seasonal colds.

Ms Soliana, who has lived in Wuhan for four years, graduated with a degree in economics last year and stayed on for six more months to study Mandarin.

She had just finished her language classes when the lockdown began, meaning she now tends to stay indoors and is unable to travel back home to Ethiopia.

“Everywhere it’s closed. Wuhan looks like a dead city. Movement is not restricted but we have been advised to stay indoors and even if I was to go outside, where would I go?”

There are no plans as yet to evacuate Ethiopians from Wuhan.

BBC News, Amharic

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