The Chinese Embassy in Nigeria has dismissed claims by a group of Nigerian lawyers who are demanding compensation for COVID-19, which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan. In a statement, the embassy called the action, “frivolous and shoddy”.
The lawyers say China failed in informing the World Health Organization and other nations when the virus became deadly.
According to BBC, the lawyers are demanding $200bn in damages for the “loss of lives, economic strangulation, trauma, hardship, social disorientation, mental torture, and disruption of normal daily existence of people in Nigeria.”
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The embassy in response said China has equally been heavily affected by the virus like every other nation across the globe.
“Covid-19 has caught the whole world by surprise. China, like other countries, is a victim. Confronted by an unknown virus, we have acted responsibly to protect people’s life, health, and safeguard global public health,” the press secretary of the Embassy of China said.
Statement by Press Secretary of the Embassy on some Nigerian lawyers’ attempt of filing frivolous lawsuits. pic.twitter.com/decFormTiX
— Chinese Embassy in Nigeria (@china_emb_ng) July 8, 2020
“China was the first country to report cases to WHO and promptly shared information with all relevant countries and regions, the first to sequence the genome of the virus and shared it with the world, [the] first to publish guidelines for treatment and containment.
“In the fight against Covid-19, solidarity and co-operation is our most powerful weapon,” the statement read in part.
The embassy further called on the lawyers to promote mutual trust rather than hyping up the situation. BBC reported that the lawyers are planning to persuade the government to institute a state action against China at the International Court of Justice.
As of July 7, 2020, Nigeria had recorded 30, 249 Covid-19 cases, 17, 192 active cases, 12, 373 recoveries, and 689 deaths.