The story of recent discriminations against Africans in China as major careers of coronavirus has more than one leg – one angle is the one linking the case of a Nigerian coronavirus patient who bit a Chinese nurse on her face in a bid to escape from isolation.
It was alleged that on April 6, a Chinese Weibo user (Weibo is a social media platform with over 445 million subscribers) made a post that the Yaotia Village, another neighbourhood in Yuexiu District would be on a 14 days lockdown and some specific people would be targeted for testing.
The report said the post led many Chinese to believe that there has been another wave of coronavirus outbreak in their country and it’s caused by foreigners – hence racist and anti-African sentiments broke out.
The Chinese government proactively denied the lockdown was to take place but the post and reactions had spread like wild fire on a sunny afternoon. The post had garnered about 23,000 comments and more than 547,000 likes. The post was later removed when the crisis climaxed.
Theoretically, the issue of face-biting and ‘inaccurate information” on Weibo, plus allegations that some Chinese were assaulted in Africa incited a ‘coronavirus-induced xenophobic tendencies, which led to multiple discriminations China.
Thickening the plot was the fact 5 Nigerians allegedly tested positive for covid-19 around the same time – validating the unfounded suspicion about a second outbreak of Covid-19 in the city via Africans.
Later, a McDonald’s branch in the industrial city of Guangzhou in China barred black people from entering the fast food joint – worsening the ensuing intercontinental and diplomatic rows.
Immediately after the alleged allegations of barring Africans, the Mcdonald’s franchise apologised and distanced itself from such discriminatory act.
The Guangdong provincial government has responded to concerns about discrimination by calling China and Africa good friends, partners and brothers.
It said it attached “great importance to some African countries’ concerns and is working promptly to improve” its way of operating.
McDonald’s also responded, saying the ban on black people was not representative of their inclusive values
Mcdonald’s said upon learning of an unauthorised communication to their clients at a restaurant in Guangzhou, they immediately removed the communication and temporarily closed the restaurant.
Africans in Guangzhou alleged they’d have faced more than a week of discrimination.
When the discriminative tests were carried out, health workers went door-to-door testing Africans for coronavirus. Those tested said they were tested regardless of whether they show any symptoms, have travelled, or have been in contact with Covid-19 patients.
Community leaders say that hundreds were forced out of their homes and hotel rooms and into quarantine. Video has emerged online of African people sleeping on the streets, in hotel lobbies, under bridges and outside police stations.
Historically, the African community in Guangzhou has been shrinking in number lately.
Many Africans feel that their communities have been the target of discriminatory measures, especially in through visa restrictions.