The People’s Republic of China  has been dragged to court by a coalition of Nigerian legal practitioners over the effects of the Coronavirus outbreak on the West African giant.

The lawyers are demanding $200 billion as damages for the loss of lives, economic strangulation, trauma, hardship, social disorientation, mental torture and disruption of the normal daily existence of people in Nigeria.

This was contained in a statement on Sunday by the lead prosecutor, Prof. Epiphany Azinge (SAN)Azinge’s law firm, Azinge, and Azinge, is championing the legal action, stressing that they had concluded pleadings for the class action against the Chinese government.

The statement reads, “The team of legal experts planned a two-phase line of action-: first is with the federal high court of Nigeria and secondly to persuade the government of Federal Republic of Nigeria to institute a state action against the People’s Republic of China at the International Court of Justice at the Hague

The legal experts will be claiming damages to the tune of 200billion dollars, the Chinese Government will be served through its Embassy in Nigeria.”

Azinge is currently a member of the Commonwealth Arbitral Tribunal London, representing Nigeria and Africa.

The Chinese government says it has zero tolerance for discrimination and that all foreigners in its land are treated equally. 

Zhao Liijan, the spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, made it known yesterday while reacting to Guangdong’s treatment of African nationals.

He emphasised that since the coronavirus outbreak, the authorities in Guangdong attached high importance to the treatment of foreign patients, including African nationals as specific plans and proper arrangements were made to protect their lives and health. 

He said China rejected “differential treatment, and we’ve  been attaching great importance to the life and health of foreign nationals in China”.

He also said the authorities attached great importance to the concerns of African countries and were working “promptly to improve their working method”.

He described China-Africa friendship as unbreakable, noting that China sees Africa as partners 

He said the ministry would stay in close communication with the Guangdong authorities and continue responding to the concerns and legitimate appeals of the African nationals.

China has reported 48 new cases of coronavirus and five more deaths on Tuesday. The latest figures released by the National Health Commission.

All the new cases were said to be imported cases, detected in people who had recently travelled outside the country, the commission said.

Earlier, new infections had been almost exclusively imported, prompting official sources to say the domestic spread had been brought under control.

According to the health commission, since the outbreak in December 2019, 3,305 people in China have died due to the virus which infected 81,518 people. More than 76,000 have recovered so far.

Meanwhile, the mood in China’s industry had brightened after a record slump due to the coronavirus.

The Beijing Bureau of Statistics announced on Tuesday that the official Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), of the manufacturing sector jumped from 35.7 to 52 points in March.

A man from China’s southwestern Yunnan province has died of hantavirus, a disease spread by rodents, while on his way back to the eastern Shandong province for work on Monday.

“He was tested positive for #hantavirus. Other 32 people on the buses were tested,” state-run Global Times tweeted without giving further details.

Hantaviruses are a family of viruses spread mainly by rodents and can cause varied disease syndromes in people worldwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which is the leading national public health institute of the United State.

Each hantavirus serotype is said to have a specific rodent host species and is spread to people via aerosolized virus that is shed in urine, feces and saliva, and less frequently by a bite from an infected host, according to the CDC.

The hantavirus report came as China is currently battling with COVID-19.

Equatorial Guinea president, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, made it known that his country will be donating $2m to China for assistance as it fights the coronavirus that has killed 634 people in the country.

The government of the tiny central Africa state resolved to make the donation after a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

 The meeting which was chaired by the President agreed that the funds be given to China in support and solidarity.

Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons said “China has always been a very strong and loyal supporter of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and this is a demonstration that the country stands with China and its people as it fights against the global outbreak that has cost too many lives 

Yet China boasts the world’s second-biggest economy after the US, and its GDP of $13.6tr dwarf Equatorial Guinea’s $13.4bn.

 Equatorial Guinea, an oil-rich state with an entrenched record of authoritarian rule and poverty, has developed close economic links with Beijing.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, announced today that he desires a closer relationship with both the United State and China, on his meeting with the US President Donald Trump on a potential free trade agreement.

“We don’t want to be forced to choose. We want to work with everybody, and we think there is an opportunity for everybody,” Kenyatta told the audience at an event hosted by the Atlantic Council think-tank.

“Kenya, is bent on securing its economic future and can benefit from closer partnerships with both the US and China”, Kenyatta said. While there has been a rise in tourism and growing investment, the East African nation needs to boost exports to create jobs at home for millions of young people. 

Kenyatta’s meeting with Trump is especially pertinent as the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, which allows sub-Saharan African countries to export thousands of products to the US without tariffs or quotas, is set to expire in 2025.

John Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser, in 2018 announced plans to expand US economic ties with African nations to counter what he called aggressive efforts by China and Russia to expand their influence there.

“Kenya can have several best friends – the United States, China, Great Britain, the European Union and others. They need to do what is best for them to progress their economy, build their infrastructure and push the country forward,” said Johnnie Carson, a former US ambassador to Kenya.

Kyle McCarter, the current US envoy to Kenya, told Reuters that he viewed Kenya as an important strategic partner in Africa and looked forward to expanded trade in coming years.

“I don’t believe that a deepening of trade between our two countries … threatens anything,” President Kenyatta said.

Michel Yao, The World Health Organization’s Africa emergency response program manager advised health ministers in the region to activate standard flu screening at airports for passengers coming from mainland China.

Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda among other countries, is said to have started implementing surveillance and screening at airports, especially for travellers arriving from Wuhan in China where the outbreak began in December.

On  Wednesday Ivory Coast’s health ministry, said the suspected case of coronavirus in the country had tested negative.

It involved a student who had travelled from Beijing to Abidjan over the weekend had shown flu-like symptoms, ‘coughing, sneezing and experienced difficulty breathing’.

In a statement, the Ivorian health ministry said that tests by research institutes in Ivory Coast and France had come back negative for the virus. 

If the results had been positive, this would have been the first confirmed case in Africa.

According to the ministry, the 34-year-old student who was quarantined while tests were carried out is being treated for her symptoms and is recovering well.

A Lot of activities have been going on at the construction site where dozens of diggers and trucks were hard at work. The mobile facility in the central city of Wuhan, birthplace of the Coronavirus epidemic, is set to be in use by February 3.

 Zhang Chongxi, manager of building group Wuhan Construction stated that “We’ve mobilized all the workers left in Wuhan to work in shifts to ensure round-the-clock construction,” The hospital will have a capacity of 1,000 beds spread over 25,000 square meters (270,000 square feet) 

It is said that the new facility is aimed at “alleviating the shortage of medical treatment resources and improving the ability to care for patients”. Construction began as reports of overwhelmed hospitals and bed shortages as the number of infected patients in the country hits 830.

Wuhan is believed to be using the prefabricated structures of Xiaotangshan Hospital as a template for its own model. Xiaotangshan Hospital was built in 2003 within a week to cater for patients suffering from SARS.

Forty military doctors were being brought in to help with intensive care at the Wuhan Pulmonary Hospital. The medics include doctors with experience combating SARS or Ebola and will be dispatched to hospitals that are reportedly short on beds due to the crush of infected patients and worried locals.

The outbreak has caused the authorities in eight Chinese cities to impose travel restrictions and cancel public events to curb the spread, as millions go on lockdown ahead of Chinese New Year.