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Dozens of Africans in Guangzhou have virus: official

2020-04-14 HKT 11:45
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  • Beijing has denied claims that black people in Guangzhou have been mistreated by the authorities. Photo: AFP
    Beijing has denied claims that black people in Guangzhou have been mistreated by the authorities. Photo: AFP
A total of 111 Africans in Guangzhou had tested positive for the novel coronavirus as of Monday, Xinhua News Agency said on Tuesday.

Among them, 19 were imported cases, Xinhua quoted Chen Zhiying, executive vice mayor of Guangzhou, as saying.

A total of 4,553 African people in the city had undergone nucleic acid testing since April 4, Chen said.

Beijing on Monday dismissed allegations by African and US diplomats that foreigners of African appearance in Guangzhou were being subjected to forceful testing for the coronavirus, quarantine and ill treatment.

Reports said some black people in the city had been thrown out of their accommodation and were being turned away from restaurants and supermarkets.

"The Chinese government has been attaching great importance to the life and health of foreign nationals in China," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian.

The African Union had earlier expressed its "extreme concern" about the situation in Guangzhou, calling on Beijing to take immediate corrective measures.

The United States, meanwhile, denounced what it called "xenophobia towards Africans by Chinese authorities." (Additional reporting by Reuters/AFP)