Hundreds of African residents and businessmen- including Ugandans- in Guangzhou, China are spending nights on the streets after they were evicted from their rented apartments and hotels.

The Africans were kicked out from hotels and apartments as local health officials rolled out a testing campaign for COVID-19, community leaders told the BBC.

The affected persons have accused the local authorities of discrimination.

Those affected include African students and businessmen. A Ugandan student in the area, Victor, who was evicted from his apartment, told the BBC “they are accusing us of having the virus”.

“We paid rent to them and after collecting rent they chased us out of the house. Since last night we have been sleeping outside,” he added.

Businessman Lunde Okulunge Isidore, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, said, “They came to my house. They told me to wait after 24 hours for the result, [but] after 24 hours nobody contacted me.”

While some of the residents told the BBC they had been evicted from their apartments, others said they

had been forced into quarantine without knowing the results of their tests.

Online rumours in China were rife that the coronavirus was spreading fast in African communities, including Guangzhou.

According to the reports, the African communities in China were under lockdown. But Chines authorities denied these claims on Tuesday.

Guangzhou is home to one of China’s largest African communities and has become a hub for African traders buying and selling goods to the continent.

The BBC reports that there are rising concerns in China over the increase in several imported COVID-19 cases, which authorities fear could fuel a second outbreak.

Since March, Guangzhou has required people arriving from abroad to be quarantined for 14 days.

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