Man under investigation for fanning fears of Africans causing infections in Guangzhou

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/7 17:42:45

A staff member reminds foreigners to fill in an arrival card at Qingdao Liuting International Airport in Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province on March 5. Photo: Xinhua

Local governments in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province, stressed that the local African community is much smaller than the 300,000 claimed in online posts and that arrivals from overseas are being closely monitored, amid fears that imported COVID-19 cases could cause an outbreak in the city.

Yuexiu district, where many of the African residents in the city live, has 3,462 foreigners who mostly come from the US, Mali, Nigeria, Canada and Australia, district government official Yan Qiang said on Tuesday. "Online rumors saying that 300,000 Africans are living here are not true."

The rumors had been circulating for years and came back under the spotlight after Guangzhou on Monday reported domestic infections caused by imported cases from Nigeria

An article that had earlier gone viral claimed that arrivals from African countries could cause an outbreak in the African community in Guangzhou and that one local community was sealed off due to infections. The article also said that Guangzhou is building makeshift hospitals to deal with the situation.

The government released details of the imported cases on Tuesday and addressed widespread concerns sparked by the article, saying the cases' close contacts are under quarantine and people with high risk of exposure have been given nucleic acid tests. 

The man who fabricated the online article, surnamed Song, is under police investigation and will be dealt with accordingly, Yuexiu police said.  

However, some local residents suspected the official number does not reflect the real situation, claiming that some foreigners in Guangzhou were illegal immigrants who could escape the community epidemic control.  

Global Times 


blog comments powered by Disqus