s China has shifted its attention to imported cases of the coronavirus, Guangzhou has become the country’s new center of concern after it was found that the virus had been transmitted by foreigners in the community.
The Guangdong capital is known for having China’s largest African community with perhaps more than 150,000 people from Africa living in the city, mostly in the Yuexiu and Baiyun districts. Rumors have been circulating about a “foreigner lockdown” going into effect in the areas.
What’s going on in Guangzhou?
These rumors emerged recently after the city’s health commission revealed that five Nigerians living in Yuexiu district had tested positive for the Covid-19 virus in late March.
Before being put into isolation, the foreigners had frequented a local restaurant. The restaurant’s owner was tested and confirmed to be infected as well, along with her 8-year-old daughter and two others.
Nearly 200 people who came into close contact with the foreigners have now been put into quarantine.
Currently, all inbound travelers from abroad are required to undergo two weeks of quarantine upon arrival in Guangzhou, however, that was not the case in early March.
Officials respond to rumors
At a press conference on Tuesday, officials denied online rumors about foreigners in Yuexiu’s Yaotai community being put into lockdown. However, risk levels have indeed been raised from low to medium in both Yuexiu and Baiyun and authorities are reportedly carrying out temperature and QR code checks.
The health authority also said that more than 32,000 people are currently being kept in quarantine in the city, either at home or in centralized facilities, including 6,321 foreign nationals.
The city has reported a total of 111 imported cases of the virus, 86 from Chinese returnees and 25 from foreigners.
Meanwhile, Guangzhou’s public security bureau also announced that a foreigner is being deported from the country after secretly leaving his quarantine venue while staff were off guard.
Last week, a Nigerian man with the coronavirus ignited anger online by biting a nurse in the face while attempting to flee from the hospital where he was receiving treatment.