Shilohna Phillanders, the Trinidadian teacher in Shenzheng city, China, is optimistic that a turning point is being reached with the novel coronavirus from which, she said, many people are now recovering.
She came to public notice on social media after challenging claims by the TT embassy in Beijing that they had offered help to TT citizens in outbreak epicentre, Wuhan city, which she had fled, by her own efforts, before the current lockdown.
While she told Newsday on Tuesday that she was on self-imposed isolation in her apartment for ten days, she was elated at the news that hundreds of Chinese have actually been recovering from the virus. “The local authorities in China have been working hard at containing this and I feel quite safe. The new hospital in Wuhan has been completed and there is another which should be completed on Wednesday of this week.
“Over 700 people have recovered from the virus as of today so it is very reassuring.”
Given the cumulative fatalities in China reported daily by the world media, Newsday asked if she gets a feeling of more infections happening each day or whether China is past the worst.
“I can't say if it is past the peak yet. I don't have a medical background to give feedback on that.
“I am mainly paying attention to the recovery figures and that is improving daily. That is what we are all holding on to across here. Persons are recovering and that is reassurance that things will improve.”
Newsday asked if the TT embassy in Beijing has kept in touch with her, after initially having failed to lodge her personal details on their database of TT citizens in China.
“Things are going well thus far. I have been included in the TT citizens group managed by the embassy. I have been receiving the email updates now as well.”
Newsday asked whether she had dared to venture outside at all.
“After ten days I needed to make a visit to the grocery to replenish my food stock.
“When I went to the grocery this week, things seemed closer to normal as there were people on the streets and stores were open, although not all stores as the Chinese New Year celebration has been extended.” As the date of that festival was pushed back from February 2 to February 9, many stores remain closed, she said.