Nigerian traders in China Town, Ojota, Lagos, are now complaining of a decline in sales following the outbreak of Coronavirus in the country.
During a visit by SaharaReporters to the place on Friday, it was discovered that buyers were beginning to desert the complex.
Many Nigerians have been in panic mode since a case of the virus was confirmed in Lagos on Friday morning.
SaharaReporters confirmed that the Italian, whose identity was yet to be unveiled, had been kept in isolation after coming in contact with many people before being detected of having the virus.
Meanwhile, traders in China Town said that though no Chinese individual in the complex had been diagnosed or suspected of having the virus, measures are already in the place to curb the spread of the disease through the use of protective measures.
Speaking to our correspondent, a trader who identified herself as Mrs Sylvester, said that Nigerians were afraid of coming to China Town to purchase goods.
While she stated that the information was inaccurate, she urged government to thoroughly screen people coming into the country.
“We do not really know who has it or do not but we are taking measures.
“Chinese nationals coming into the country should be thoroughly checked before allowed to leave the airport.
“Due to the virus, people are no more coming in, they are scared of Chinese people. Buying goods in China Town has become a taboo while the government deports them.
“China Town is very dry, people are scared and it is affecting Nigerians selling goods in the market.”
Another trader, Mr Godwin, confirmed that since the news of the virus went viral, traders in China Town had been experiencing poor sales.
He blamed poor sales to misinformation and rumour by the people.
“In China Town, we are calm because most of the Chinese that travelled have not returned, that means this place is free of the virus.
“It’s true that the virus has been affecting our trade as there had been serious decline.
“Some people were misinformed that the Chinese here had the virus but it is purely fake news.
“People fear a lot and work with incorrect information.”
Meanwhile, Michael Chidom, a cloth seller at China Town, attributed the low patronage at the complex to economic issues and not the outbreak of the virus.
“I won’t say the decline in customers coming here is the virus, I’ll say maybe it is 'pocket virus' that is affecting the people from patronising us, not Coronavirus.”
He however, urged the government to intensify screening of travellers coming into the country to control the infection rate.
Another trader, who introduced himself as Badmus, stressed the need for the government to do more in curbing the spread of the virus in the country.
“Government must ensure to keep us safe. We need the government to do their part to keep people safe from this virus so that it won’t spread to plenty of people as it is doing in China.”
According to data from Worldometers, the official death rate of people under 50 years old was only 0.2 per cent.
China has recorded over 78,191 cases of Coronavirus and more than 2, 000 deaths.