Reports of racism towards Africans in China continue to emerge with the latest excuse for this primitive behaviour being blamed on the Coronavirus.
After five Nigerians tested positive for COVID-19 in Guangzhou, China, the government ordered all residents of African descent to quarantine for 14 days, a move that led to businesses and landlords to issue evictions and bans that many in the African community said were based on discrimination.Following the outbreak, Guangzhou officials announced that all residents of African descent—about 4,500 people—must quarantine for 14 days “regardless of their previous circumstances or how long they have been in Guangzhou,” reported the South China Morning Post, adding that African residents’ homes will be monitored with tracking devices that will alert officials if they “open the door.”
The ban led to reports of African residents being evicted and banned from businesses; people have taken to social media to document evicted African residents sleeping on the street, interacting with police and Nigerian diplomats delivering food to their now-homeless compatriots, causing foreign ministers of Uganda, Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria to speak out in protest.
Last week it was reported that the African community in Guangzhou is on edge after widespread accounts were shared on social media of people being left homeless this week, as China's warnings against imported coronavirus cases stoke anti-foreigner sentiment.
In the southern Chinese city, Africans have been evicted from their homes by landlords and turned away from hotels, despite many claiming to have no recent travel history or known contact with Covid-19 patients.
CNN interviewed more than two dozen Africans living in Guangzhou many of whom told of the same experiences: being left without a home, being subject to random testing for Covid-19, and being quarantined for 14 days in their homes, despite having no symptoms or contact with known patients.
Health authorities in Guangdong province and the Guangzhou Public Security Bureau did not respond to CNN's request for comment.
The move comes amid heightened media coverage of the so-called second wave of coronavirus cases, emanating from infections outside of China. Earlier this week, Chinese President Xi Jinping urged authorities to carefully watch for imported cases from other countries, state news agency Xinhua reported.
But one aspect of the data has received relatively less public attention: on March 26, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Luo Zhaohui said 90% of China's imported cases held Chinese passports.