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HomePoliticsWorldAfricans suspected to be carrying COVID evicted from houses in China

Africans suspected to be carrying COVID evicted from houses in China

The Chinese population in Hong Kong also has developed the impression that Africans brought to Guangzhou the second wave of infections

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As though the dubious conduct of the communist regime of for the past several months was not outrageous enough, now even the Chinese people are making news for the wrong reasons. They are evicting Africans from their homes due to the apprehension that they could spread the novel coronavirus disease (COVID).

Ambassadors of different African countries in China have complained to the country’s foreign minister about the discrimination against Africans at a time when is desperately trying to convince the world that it did not spread the biological agent deliberately and also that it has fought the pandemic efficiently.

These African countries highlighted incidents particularly from the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou. Over the past week, Chinese landlords and neighbours have evicted African students and expatriates in Guangzhou. The countries allege that their nationals were thrown out of their houses on mere suspicion. They say while the Africans had approached health authorities for testing, their results never came by.

Local media and social media in have erupted over the issue.

Beijing has officially denied any discrimination even though no government probe has been instituted to look into the incidents.

Journalists in Hong Kong say that the Chinese population here has developed the impression that Africans brought to Guangzhou the second wave of infections. “There is escalating scrutiny of foreign nationals, but they are targeting the Africans and the African American community. Since last Thursday we saw 114 new cases reported in Guangzhou of coronavirus infections and 16 of those were Africans,” reports Al Jazeera.

“We’ve seen a number of reports from social media from members of the African community in Guangzhou making complaints of mistreatment, arrests, eviction and being denied access to restaurants and hotels, and some students are even claiming to be living on the streets and being denied food,” journalist Sarah Clarke said.

‘Africans stigmatised, discriminated against’

The African ambassadors’ letter sent to China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, highlighted a number of reported incidents. They allege Africans had been ejected from hotels, too, in the middle of the night after the hotel security seized their passports and threatened to get their visas revoked, get them arrested and deported.

The letter said such “stigmatisation and discrimination” created a false impression that Africans were spreading COVID. “The Group of African Ambassadors in Beijing immediately demands the cessation of forceful testing, quarantine and other inhuman treatments meted out to Africans,” it said.

But claims Guangzhou is enforcing anti-virus measures on anybody who tries to enter the city from across the national border, regardless of nationality, race or gender.

The Chinese embassy in Zimbabwe had yesterday rubbished the allegation. “It is harmful to sensationalise isolated incidents,” it said in a tweeted statement. “ treats all individuals in the country, Chinese and foreign alike, as equals.”

African countries outraged

In Nigerian capital Abuja, African officials are overcome by “anger and disbelief”, says international media.

On 11 April, Foreign Affairs Minister of Ghana Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey summoned the Chinese ambassador to share her disappointment. She demanded of the government of that they take immediate action against the Chinese people who are throwing out her country’s people from houses.

The foreign ministry of Kenya has “officially expressed concern”. It said the Kenyan government was working with Chinese authorities to resolve the issue.

On 10 April, Nigerian lawmaker Akinola Alabi had tweeted a video of a meeting between Femi Gbajabiamila, the leader of Nigeria’s lower house of parliament, and Chinese Ambassador Zhou Pingjian. Gbajabiamila reportedly showed Zhou a video of a Nigerian complaining about mistreatment in and sought an explanation from the envoy.

Now Chinese people living in Africa may face a backlash, say international news agencies.

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