A major Chinese news outlet, the Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday that as of Monday, April 14, over 100 Africans in China’s southern city of Guangzhou had tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Xinhua quoted Chen Zhiying, executive vice mayor of Guangzhou, as saying of the 111 confirmed cases, 19 were imported cases.
The vice mayor also confirmed that a total of 4,553 African people in the city had undergone nucleic acid testing since April 4. Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province had made news headlines after a number of Africans were evicted from their places of lodging amid reports of racist abuse related to coronavirus.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday admitted receipt of complaints by African governments that foreigners of African appearance in the city of Guangzhou were being subjected to forceful testing for the coronavirus, quarantines and ill-treatment. U.S. diplomats also reported that Africa-Americans had been targeted.
The statement read in part: “During our fight against the coronavirus, the Chinese government has been attaching great importance to the life and health of foreign nationals in China. All foreigners are treated equally. We reject differential treatment, and we have zero tolerance for discrimination.
“Since the outbreak, the authorities in Guangdong attach high importance to the treatment of foreign patients, including African nationals. Specific plans and proper arrangements are made to protect their life and health to the best of our ability, thanks to which we were able to save the lives of some African patients in severe or critical conditions.
It added: “The foreign ministry will stay in close communication with the Guangdong authorities and continue responding to the African side’s reasonable concerns and legitimate appeals.
“The virus knows no borders. The pandemic, a challenge to all mankind, can only be defeated through concerted international efforts. With mutual understanding, mutual support and cooperation, we are ready to continue working with African friends to achieve the final victory.”