By Spy Uganda
Thousands of Africans in China, among them Ugandans, are currently sleeping on streets after Chinese government officials evicted them from hotels, homes, factories and other buildings over allegations that they carried Coronavirus into the country.
According to news coming in from China, several Ugandans and other Africans who were living and working Guangzhou, Wuhan, Fuji and other provinces have since been evicted from buildings and are currently being herded on streets.
“Hundreds of African residents and businessmen in China’s southern city of Guangzhou have been evicted from hotels and apartments as local health officials rollout a testing campaign for COVID-19,” community leaders told the BBC.
Those evicted say they are being discriminated against and accused of carrying the COVID-19 scourge to China.
“They are accusing us of having the virus,” said Tobenna Victor, a Nigerian student in Guangzhou.
“We paid rent to them and after collecting rent they chased us out of the house. Since last night we have been sleeping outside.”
Businessman Lunde Okulunge Isidore, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, said: “They came to my house. They told me to wait after 24 hours for the results, but after 24 hours nobody contacted me.”
Some residents told the BBC that they were evicted from their apartments; others said that they were put into forced quarantine without knowing the results of their tests.
On Tuesday, Chinese officials denied online rumours that the virus was spreading in African communities and that parts of the city where Africans reside were under lockdown.
Guangzhou is home to one of China’s largest African communities and has become a hub for African traders buying and selling goods to the continent.
There are rising concerns in China over the increase in number of imported Covid-19 cases, which authorities fear could fuel a second outbreak.
Since March, Guangzhou has required people arriving from abroad to be quarantined for 14 days before they are allowed to proceed anywhere else.
China on Sunday claimed 25 of the 30 news coronavirus cases it confirmed were imported.
China’s National Health Commission said the five locally transmitted cases were reported from the southeastern province of Guangdong.
In a statement, the commission said three deaths were reported on Saturday from Hubei province, the capital of which is Wuhan, initially at the center of the global coronavirus outbreak.
“Hubei reported no new cases of confirmed infections, no new cases of suspected infections, and 3 deaths.”
China’s total number of confirmed coronavirus cases stands at 81,669, with the death toll at 3,329. Some 76,964 people have recovered, while 295 are in critical condition.
Hong Kong has reported 862 cases and four deaths so far, Taiwan has 355 cases, and Macau has 44 cases, according to the commission.
However, Chinese government officials on Thursday asked all foreign nationals in China to follow rules of the Coronavirus control and prevention work and cooperate with local authority.
Zhao Lijian, the Health ministry spokesperson, made the appeal at a daily press briefing on Thursday morning in response to question of media report of Africans been discriminately treated during the coronavirus pandemic in China’s Guangdong Province and other places.
“The Chinese government treats all foreign nationals in China equally. China opposes any differentiated practices and bears zero tolerance for discrimination,” Zhao emphasized.
“China’s most urgent task now is to prevent imported cases and domestic resurgence, it requires joint support, understanding and cooperation from both Chinese citizens and foreign nationals in China,” he added.
Zhao said China will urge relevant departments to improve its approaches in dealing with foreign nationals when it comes to epidemic control in order to reduce misunderstanding.