Coronavirus News Asia

African community targeted as China tackles virus


Africans in southern China’s largest city say they have become targets of suspicion and subjected to forced evictions, arbitrary quarantines and mass coronavirus testing as the country steps up its fight against imported infections.

China says it has largely curbed its Covid-19 outbreak but a recent cluster of cases linked to the Nigerian community in Guangzhou sparked the alleged discrimination by locals and virus prevention officials.

Local authorities in the industrial centre of 15 million said at least eight people diagnosed with the illness had spent time in the city’s Yuexiu district, known as “Little Africa”.

Five were Nigerian nationals who faced widespread anger after reports surfaced that they had broken a mandatory quarantine and been to eight restaurants and other public places instead of staying home.

As a result, nearly 2,000 people they came into contact with had to be tested for Covid-19 or undergo quarantine, state media said.

Guangzhou had confirmed 114 imported coronavirus cases as of Thursday — 16 of which were Africans. The rest were returning Chinese nationals. 

It has led to Africans becoming targets of suspicion, distrust and racism in China.

Several Africans told AFP they had been forcibly evicted from their homes and turned away by hotels. 



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