African residents in Guangzhou, China, are reporting incidents of discrimination after the government ordered all residents of African descent to quarantine for 14 days.
The city of Guangzhou has 463 cases of COVID-19, but officials say 111 cases are imported from other countries. Officials said last Monday 10 cases were linked to the business district known as “Little Africa,” including five cases linked to a single restaurant.
According to Forbes.com, after the cluster at the restaurant, the government issued a two-week quarantine for all 4,500 residents of African descent. Under the order, African residents must quarantine for 14 days “regardless of their previous circumstances or how long they have been in Guangzhou.”
The South China Morning Post added that African residents’ homes will be monitored with tracking devices to alert officials if they “open the door.”
Since the quarantine started, African residents have reported being banned from businesses and being evicted from homes. Nigerian diplomats have tried to step in to help, delivering food to their now-homeless compatriots.
“The Group of African Ambassadors in Beijing immediately demands the cessation of forceful testing, quarantine, and other inhuman treatments meted out to Africans.”
Chinese officials have denied the clams. Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the Chinese government “treats all foreign personnel in China equally, opposes any differential practices targeting specific groups of people, and has zero tolerance for discriminatory words and deeds.”
Evidence would suggest otherwise. The South China Post reported that the U.S. consulate in Guangzhou has advised African Americans to stop traveling to the city. Additionally, a McDonald’s in the city was featured in a Twitter post showing a sign that read “We have been informed that from now on black people are not allowed to enter the restaurant.”
McDonald’s said it “immediately removed the communication and temporarily closed the restaurant” as it was “not representative of our inclusive values.”
Racial incidents during the COVID-19 outbreak is nothing new. President Trump has repeatedly labeled the illness the “Chinese virus” even doubling down on his use of the term.
China claims its at the tail end of the virus outbreak and has begun to reopen areas, including the market the virus originated from. No new safety designs have been implemented.