As the world is frantically fighting the scourge of coronavirus, Africans who are residents in China have not been afforded peace. The blame game is rearing its ugly head as African are being blamed in China for importing coronavirus into the country. They are being forced out of homes and hotels because of the wild claim that they brought coronavirus into China.
The authorities in China are evicting Africans from their homes and from hotels under the claim that they carried the deadly virus into China, igniting racist attitudes that fan the flames of division. Africans in the provinces of Guangdon and Fujian are being subjected to the callous treatment and are now fearing being exposed to the virus.
The discrimination is being brought into effect by using government force to eject the Africans from their homes.
Tobenna Victor, who is a Nigerian student said, “They are accusing us of having the virus. We paid rent to them and after collecting rent they chased us out of the house. Since last night we have been sleeping outside.” Another account given by Lunde Okulunge Isidore, who is a businessman from the D.R.C implies that some Africans are not being informed of their test results and some are being forced into quarantine without knowing the results of their tests.
Africans who spoke to correspondents from Sahara Reporters confirmed that they were being ejected over claims that they brought the virus into China.“Foreigners and particularly black people are currently not allowed to access public places including malls, restaurants, and hospitals. They have landlords to evict them, they chase them out of hotels and make them go through all sorts because of Coronavirus.”
A meeting between the African community leaders in Guangzhou and the government was held with the aim of thawing the tensions. It is said that the impasse is still going on despite a “positive outcome” from the meeting. The authorities still harassing the Africans. Some of the affected people claim that the evictions are still ongoing despite the resolutions that were passed at the meeting targeted at stopping the discrimination.
One of the affected persons said: “The leaders of the African community in Guangzhou had a meeting with government officials in the city two days ago and discussions centered on all those issues. “That’s not to say the evictions have stopped. Africans are all in the open now, under the rain with nowhere to go.”
The reports have sparked a conversation around the predominant racist attitudes that pervade Chinese society but are not properly talked about. The cycle of racism has also been highlighted: Americans calling the novel virus the “Chinese virus,” and the Chinese now harassing the Africans on the unfounded allegations that they brought the virus into their country. Others have lamented how China is getting first-class treatment in Africa when it comes to investment opportunities, but when Africans go to their land they are mistreated.
A letter was sent to the Consul-General of Ghana’s Consulate Office in Guangzhou by the Chinese authorities talking of how the city was doing all it can to avoid the spread of the virus in the city.
The letter to the Ghanaian government read: “I would like to keep you informed that for the good of public health, anyone (including Chinese nationals) with overseas-travel records will be required to undergo an epidemic investigation and PCR testing.”
Another notice was also given to all foreigners in the affected province by the Chinese government: “From April 5th to April 7th, according to relevant government departments, the streets will organize African tenants within their jurisdictions to carry out nucleic acid screening at designated sites (open space in front of the neighborhood committee). Owners/residents are requested to know and inform their families.”
The reports that Africans are facing cruel treatment at the hands of the Chinese authorities over claims of spreading the virus show how the blame game is reigning supreme during this pandemic. Earlier on, US President Donald Trump accused the World Health Organization of siding with China in under-reporting the full extent of the virus.
Source: African Exponent