In light of this the United States Government has issued an advisory to African-Americans telling them not travel to Guangzhou, citing a local government-led crackdown targeting people of African origin due to Covid-19 fears.
The warning followed reports that local authorities had imposed tough measures in recent weeks screening people entering and leaving the city’s “Little Africa” district in Yuexiu district after five Nigerians tested positive for the coronavirus.
It also said members of the city’s sizeable African community had been denied service in hotels, bars and restaurants.
The BBC in a report quotes African Community leaders as saying that hundreds of their countrymen 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.
McDonald's in China has apologised after a branch in the industrial city of Guangzhou barred black people from entering.
A video shared on social media showed a notice that read: “We’ve been informed that from now on black people are not allowed to enter the restaurant."
McDonald's said that when it found out about the notice it temporarily closed the restaurant.
Tensions have been running high between Africans and local people in the city.
Last week, hundreds of Africans in Guangzhou were evicted from hotels and apartments after online rumours that coronavirus was spreading among African people, community leaders told the BBC.
Guangzhou is a hub for African traders buying and selling goods and is home to one of China’s largest African communities.
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 our inclusive values”.
“Immediately upon learning of an unauthorised communication to our guests at a restaurant in Guangzhou, we immediately removed the communication and temporarily closed the restaurant.”
The restaurant added that it had conducted “diversity and inclusion” training in the branch.
“The US Consulate General advises African-Americans or those who believe Chinese officials may suspect them of having contact with nationals of African countries to avoid the Guangzhou metropolitan area until further notice,” said the alert.
It also warned that local authorities may require foreigners to take a test and 14 days of supervised quarantine at their own expense, without advance warning.
According to Danny Vincent of the BBC in Hong Kong, The video filmed inside McDonald's sparked anger both inside and outside China.
“The African community in Guangzhou has been dwindling in recent years. There were once thought to be hundreds of thousands from the continent conducting business in the city, but today the number has fallen to just thousands,” Vincent said.
According to the BBC reporter, “many feel that their communities have been the target of discriminatory measures. Restrictions to visas have made many I have spoken to feel less welcome. Some feel that the coronavirus is being used as an excuse to target businessmen who overstay their visas.”
Its understood that the Chinese are charging thatb the Africans brought the COVID-19 virus to Guangzhou, noting that the Africans were not falling ill in the samer manner as local residents.
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