Ghana’s Ambassador to China, Edward Boateng has called for restraint following concerns that Ghanaians in the Chinese capital, Beijing were allegedly evicted from their apartments over fears they were carrying the Coronavirus disease.
He says there have been enough engagements between officials of both countries to find a lasting solution to the unfortunate development.
Some Ghanaians in the Asian country have called on Ghanaian authorities to facilitate their evacuation after they were evicted from their homes for supposed mass testing of Africans for COVID-19.
Speaking on Point Blank on Eyewitness News, the Ambassador assured that measures are being implemented to address the issue.
“It was the landlords who were leading the evictions, not the authorities. Now, the landlords fear that if the authorities got to know that they had rented to people without legal status, they will be in trouble. And then, communities started telling people who were living in their neighborhoods that this person also leaves here and the police will turn up. In that process, I must say that maybe some of the authorities then started implementing it in a very harsh manner. There was a backlash from some of the Ambassadors that they can’t do and these videos started going viral.”
“It then came to the attention of the authorities in Beijing so the authorities immediately dispatched a team to Guangzhou to go and find out what was going on. So as we speak, people are in quarantine, people are being taken care of, some of the people who are in their own flats alone were allowed to stay in their flats alone. I have information from some of my colleagues and compatriots in Guangzhou that they have asked to go home. So the situation is settled,” he said.
Last week, reports from China emerged that African communities were a threat to increase spread of coronavirus in that country.
Soon after, health officials in China began door-to-door testing targeting African immigrants.
Landlords and hotels also began evicting hundreds of Africans.
Some Ghanaians living in the Chinese capital, Beijing were reportedly evicted from their apartments.
There were images from China showing hundreds of Africans homeless in cities like Guangzhou.
Foreign Affairs Ministry raises concerns
When the news broke, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration urged the Chinese government to “speedily and comprehensively” address reports of discrimination against Africans over novel coronavirus fears.
In a statement, the Ministry said the Chinese government has met with African ambassadors on the matter.
“At that meeting, it was announced that the government of the People’s Republic of China has taken note of happenings and was taking immediate steps to stop the targetting of and ill-treatment meted out to Africans, particularly our compatriots in the Guangdong province.”
The Ministry earlier described the happenings in China as racial discrimination and summoned the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Shi Ting Wang.
Various African ambassadors in China also wrote to the country’s Foreign Minister to complain about the discrimination.
After being the global epicentre of the novel coronavirus, China has been able to contain the disease.
Most of its cases are now imported and it now has fewer cases than the US and fewer deaths than Italy and Spain.
There have been some 82,000 confirmed cases in China about 3,350 deaths
It currently has a temporary ban on all foreign visitors in place even if they have visas or residence permits.
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