The Chinese Government says authorities in Guangzhou resorted to strict measures against Nigerians and other Africans stranded in the region owing to the prevalence of the coronavirus among foreigners, especially Nigerian nationals.
Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria Zhou Pingjian gave the explanation on Tuesday in Abuja during a media briefing with Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama on the alleged maltreatment of Nigerians and other Africans stranded in China.
He said the current statistics of COVID-19 in Guangzhou showed that Nigerians and other Africans were most vulnerable, hence the measures were meant to protect them.
Pingjian noted that “China has zero-tolerance for discrimination”, saying Guangzhou was only fighting COVID-19 “and not any Nigerian or any African or any foreign nationals or Chinese.”
Onyeama, on his part, recounted that there was a flight which conveyed a group of Nigerians to Guangzhou in which some Nigerians on the flight tested positive for COVID-19.
According to him, a lady who owned a restaurant in Guangzhou was among those who tested positive to the disease.
He said: “An African restaurant, a Nigerian restaurant frequented predominantly and almost exclusively by Africans and Nigerians and that the Chinese authorities obviously picked up on this that there was this group of people who had tested positive.
“And so, automatically demanded and insisted that they all be quarantined, with nobody allowed to come out in 14 days and if anybody came out from that quarantine, that they should not be allowed in if it was a hotel, back into that hotel or that residence.”