Africa, Asia - Pacific

Kenya slams China over racism connected to COVID-19

Foreign Ministry warns Kenyans are among many Africans hit by wave of racial attacks in China amid pandemic

Andrew Wasike Shimanyula   | 15.04.2020
Kenya slams China over racism connected to COVID-19

NAIROBI, Kenya

Kenya rebuked China on Tuesday over coronavirus-related discrimination against its citizens in Guangzhou province while noting that no Kenyans there had died from COVID-19. 

"The reality is that this has been a very unfortunate outcome. Africans, Kenyans included, have been discriminated against in the process of the provincial government’s response to try and mop up the situation that they are facing there after the crisis that they had over the last few months,” Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau said at a press briefing.

“Sadly, they have discriminated against and targeted various foreigners in their response. The African Union has responded collectively in consultation with us,” Kamau said.

Kenyans living in China have posted videos on social media depicting racial discrimination against them and other Africans as the coronavirus pandemic continues. Africans have been evicted from apartments and turned away from hotels despite having no recent travel history or known contact with COVID-19 patients.

Macharia thanked South African President Cyril Ramaphosa for his response to the attacks on Africans as African Union chairman.

Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Wu Peng has assured the Foreign Affairs Ministry that Kenyans and Africans in China will be given the protection they deserve. Kenya and China also agreed that the incidents will not ruin bilateral ties between the two countries.

The latest developments come as Kenya’s Foreign Ministry reported that five Kenyans had died in the United States from COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Kenya’s Directorate of Criminal Investigations has obtained court orders allowing it to detain a Rome-based Catholic priest who is accused of deliberately infecting people with the coronavirus.

Richard Oduor tested positive after his return to Kenya from Rome, Italy on March 10 but continued with his duties.

It also comes as the Kenya Ports Authority said seven of its employees had contracted the coronavirus with two dying from it.

The country recorded its first case on March 13.

The number of cases in Kenya has risen to 216 after eight more people tested positive.


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