China targets travelers amid new wave of coronavirus cases

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A city in southern China has ordered bars and restaurants not to serve customers who appear to be of African descent, citing an increase in overseas coronavirus cases, the US consulate said.

Guangzhou, which has a population of around 15 million, promises that anyone with “African” contacts will face mandatory virus testing followed by quarantine, regardless of recent travel history or previous isolation, according to Reuters, citing a statement from the consulate.

American diplomats have also advised African-Americans or those who fear being targeted to stay away from Guangzhou.

Some African traders have said they have been evicted or discriminated against because of fears of coronavirus, the Associated Press reported.

In an unusually open criticism, the Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives tweeted a video of him pressing the Chinese ambassador on the matter.

“It’s almost without diplomacy in how I speak, but it’s because I’m upset by what’s going on,” said Femi Gbajabiamila.

“We take it very seriously,” said Ambassador Zhou Pingjian.

Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama also summoned the ambassador to express his “extreme concern” and to call for an immediate government response. Kenya also denounced the ill-treatment.

Sierra Leonean diplomats in Beijing met with Chinese officials and “expressed in very firm terms their concern and condemnation of the disturbing and humiliating experiences of which our citizens have been victims,” ​​said a statement from the African nation.

China accused foreign travelers of the increased number of coronavirus cases on Saturday, raising concerns over a second wave of the pandemic in the country. The National Health Commission has estimated 46 new cases reported on Friday, including 42 abroad. Many of the new cases involved Chinese nationals crossing the border from Russia to the northern provinces of China.

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