Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, was an important topic of discussion last week after reports of racist abuse related to coronavirus were made.
Nigerians and other African migrants took complaints of their maltreatment to social media. Many of them said they were forced out of their places of lodging.
About 111 Africans tested positive for coronavirus on Monday in China’s southern city of Guangzhou, Chinese news outlet, the Xinhua News Agency, reported on Tuesday.
The executive vice mayor of Guangzhou, Chen Zhiying, said of the confirmed 111 cases, 19 were imported.
The vice mayor said, “4,553 African people in the city had undergone nucleic acid testing since April 4.”
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Friday expressed his displeasure on the inhumane treatment of Nigerians in China, in a meeting with the Chinese Ambassador Zhou Pingjian.
Mr Pingjian responded that it was not a policy of the Chinese government to maltreat African migrants.
“We take our relationship with Nigeria very seriously. Until we receive a full report from back home, I cannot act, but I can assure you it is not a policy issue.
“We treat everyone equally, but during the implementation of the COVID-19 measures in China, it is possible for some incidents; all I do is take it back home, today I will,” he said.
In response to the concerns of African nations, the Chinese minister of Foreign Affairs, Zhao Lijian, on Monday after admitting to receiving complaints by African governments, said the Chinese government had concluded to protect and not discriminate against the continent.
The complaints were that “foreigners of African appearance in the city of Guangzhou were being subjected to forceful testing for the coronavirus, quarantines and ill-treatment.” Diplomats from the U.S. also reported that African-Americans had been targeted.
China, where the outbreak of coronavirus began, now has a total of 82,249 confirmed cases, 3,341 deaths, and 77,738 recoveries according to Worldometer.