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Kenyans among Africans evicted from Chinese hotels over Covid-19 fears

Kenyans are among hundreds of African residents and businessmen in Guangdong, China who have been kicked out from hotels and apartments as local health officials rollout a testing campaign for Covid-19.

Many Kenyans living in China now live on the streets, depending on well-wishers for food and other basic requirements after a surge in racial discrimination against Africans in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

Chinese police are reportedly evicting them and taking away their legal documents.

Those affected include African students and businessmen and are being accused of having the virus.

While some of the residents say they had been evicted from their apartments, others said they had been forced into quarantine without knowing the results of their tests.

According to the reports, the African communities in China were under lockdown.

On Friday, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian denied these claims, saying that they treat all foreign nationals equally in China.

“We reject differential treatment, and we have zero tolerance for discrimination. The world are taking measures to contain the pandemic,” he said.

He added that his government pay high attention to the incidents and misunderstanding occurred in this process.

“We urge relevant authorities to improve their work, hope all foreigners in China will strictly observe local anti-epidemic regulations, cooperate with and support us in fighting the virus.”

Kenyans in China have reached out to Kenyan embassy officials for help but their pleas have been ignored.

DISCRIMINATION

They are now asking the Kenyan government to help in facilitating their return home to avoid the discrimination by Chinese nationals.

Chinese believe a second wave of the Coronavirus infections is re-surging and Africans are to blame for the new infections.

An incident of a Nigerian Covid-19 patient allegedly attacking a nurse and trying to flee from the hospital this week has fueled the deep-rooted prejudice against immigrants.

As police evict Africans from “Little Africa”, a neighborhood with a high immigrant population, Africans have come under searing racist and hateful rhetoric on Chinese social media platform,

They have been labeled as unhygienic, lazy, drug addicts and thieves with a call for mass deportations.

The Chinese city where the coronavirus epidemic first broke out, Wuhan, ended a two-month lockdown on Wednesday, but a northern town started restricting the movement of its residents amid concerns of a second wave of infections in mainland China.

China maintains strict screening protocols, concerned about any resurgence in domestic transmissions due to virus carriers who exhibit no symptoms and infected travellers arriving from overseas.

As of April 9, there were a total of 123 imported cases and 137 asymptomatic cases according to state run People’s Daily.