As coronavirus pandemic continuous to pose a threat globally, many countries have been busy evacuating their citizens from most affected foreign countries.
Though the coronavirus epidemic has subsided in China, we have been witnessing how hundreds of Africans are being evicted from their homes and hotels in the Chinese city of Guangzhou over fears of which the Chinese government claims that COVID-19 is spreading in African communities.
Over 100 residents from African countries have tested positive for the virus in the southern industrial hub of Guangzhou, which as a result the entire population of African residents is being scapegoated as the cause. Chinese government on the other hand has been accused of inhuman treatment imposed on Africans being termed as racism and discrimination.
This act has made African leaders condemn such acts where Africans are abused, tortured and racially discriminated in China. This is after Africans living in China went on social media sharing their woes on how hotels and restaurants are refusing them entry, Some forced out of their apartments and others subjected to forced quarantine measures, even though they are not high-risk.
The touching videos have caused mixed reactions especially here in Kenya questioning the manner in which the government is using to handle the matter. The ministry of foreign affairs has been accused for taking the wrong approach in handling Kenyans stuck in China despite the fact everyone is aware of the mistreatment and abuse they are undergoing in the foreign country.
We have also witnessed how other African governments are working hard in solidarity to evacuate their own citizens from China for instance, Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Geoffrey Onyeama was seen in a meeting with his Chinese officials demanding swift action to be taken and planning how to evacuate their citizens. This basically shows how Nigeria cares about the welfare of its own citizens as a country.
Unfortunately, all our Kenyan government can do is to advise those citizens seeking evacuation in China to foot their own cost, prove they are Covid-19-free and once back home they should go into 14-day quarantine. This approach by the government is termed not only inconsiderate but inhuman, causing more stigmatization to already distressed victims.
It is so unfortunate when the government abandons its own citizens in a foreign land especially when they need it most. It should be concerned on how to get its citizens back at home instead of causing them more stigma when all they have left is to depend on the same people who are selling them out.
Coronavirus epidemic has exacerbated a phenomenon that already existed but it is so unfortunate to be practiced at this moment. China like many other countries has a racism problem and the the best way is for authorities to confront and condemn the issue rather than justifying their actions.
It’s everyone’s wish and prayer for COVID-19 to end so that life can return to normalcy, this is why most countries are doing their best to end the deadly virus, but we can only do it when we both focus on fighting one common enemy which is the virus itself rather than fighting our brothers and sisters. This is where we loose focus, let coronavirus unite us but don’t let is separate the brotherhood we once shared.