Though the CCP coronavirus began in China, it seems as if the African nationals residing in the country are taking a beating for it. Many Africans are reporting discriminatory attitudes against them by the local populace, accusing them of somehow being the carriers of the virus.
Racism against Africans
“I don’t have food or money. It’s not fair. We are not allowed to use public transport, we are not allowed in the supermarkets, we are not allowed to go outside our houses. They keep saying that Africans are now the ones with the virus. The police are the ones chasing people around the city. Even if you go to them for help, they say they cannot help,” one Kenyan said to Nairobi Wire. She also revealed that some of her friends in Beijing were forced to sleep outside for almost 3 days before they found accommodation.
Many Africans are reportedly being rounded up and forced into 14-day quarantines even though they have been living in the country for many years. One African national went into hiding after many Chinese came knocking at her door. An African student alleged that they were denied medical services. Even though the state administration is claiming that incidences of racism are being conducted by random mobs, the fact that the police were deployed to escort Africans out of their homes indicates that some level of government compliance is involved.
China’s racist attacks on Africans have infuriated the people back in Africa. Kenyan politician Moses Kuria has demanded that Chinese nationals living in the country should be expelled with immediate effect as retaliation. He also questioned the logic of blaming Africans for a virus that the Chinese “manufactured in a Wuhan laboratory.” Another politician, Charles Njagua, also echoed such thoughts and stated that what is happening to Kenyans in China is completely unacceptable.
The ambassadors of African countries jointly sent a diplomatic note to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and demanded that the country stop all such discriminatory practices that give a false impression that Africans were responsible for the coronavirus. “The Group of African Ambassadors in Beijing demands the cessation of forceful testing, quarantine, and other inhuman treatments meted out to Africans,” the note said, as reported by Anadolu Agency.
CCP coronavirus impact
Africa is being badly hit by the CCP coronavirus. It neither has the healthcare system nor the finance to deal with any large-scale outbreaks. The World Bank warns that sub-Saharan Africa could go into recession for the first time in 25 years. Last year, the region registered a growth rate of 2.4 percent. But for 2020, the economy is expected to contract between 2.1 percent and 5.1 percent. Funding and debt relief are the two urgent needs of the continent.
“Africa needs an immediate emergency fiscal stimulus worth [US]$100 billion in addition to the International Monetary Fund’s already programmed [US]$50 billion of regular support to tackle the crisis. The crisis will not be short-lived: Additional support over the next two to three years is required. The continent’s debt-service payments to bilateral creditors in 2020 amount to about [US]$14 billion,” Abiy Ahmed, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, writes in Bloomberg.
More than 14,000 people have been infected by the CCP coronavirus across the continent. Most countries are showing an upward trend in the number of infections. Algeria is the most affected country, with close to 2,000 confirmed cases.