The South-East Amalgamated Markets Traders Association (SEAMATA), on Thursday advised its members to shelve for now all business trips to China and other Asia countries to avoid being infected with coronavirus.
Since the outbreak of the disease it has recorded over 170 deaths in some provinces in China and over nine other countries have also reported the presence of the virus.
The President-General, Chief Gozie Akudolu and the Secretary-General Mr Alex Okwudili, of the association made the appeal in a statement on Thursday made available in Enugu.
The association also appealed to Nigerians to shelve all business trips to China, and other Asian and far East countries for now until the deadly coronavirus epidemic was successfully and effectively contained.
The statement reads in parts: “SEAMATA wishes to inform all our members in particular and all traders across the federation to be on red alert over the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus epidemic currently in China and other Asian countries.
“These countries incidentally, remain the business destinations of our members in their numbers.
“The association calls on all members to for now do business electronically and internet channels with their partners in China and other Asian countries until a remarkable improvement in the control of the deadly coronavirus is achieved and the virus totally eradicated.
“In line with the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health, the association is reminding members across the federation to always make use of surgical masks in crowded places in affected countries.
“Traders across Nigerians should maintain a very high standard of personal hygiene and always make hand sanitisers handy to keep the risk of infection at a distance,’’ it said.
The statement also reminded Nigerians to always remember that “once anyone is infected with the virus, the individual’s household members, friends, associates and indeed the entire society including the churches and markets are in a serious danger.
“This is the reason we should try to avoid trips to nations battling with the virus presently for now, until the situation is under control.
“Our earnest prayer is for God to protect each and every one of us and the members of our families and our nation from this virus. This is our distress call,’’ it noted.
China has recorded over 170 deaths from the virus, which has also killed dozens in other Asian countries and thousands in the far East countries are already infected.