Seventy-two Nigerians awaiting evacuation in Guangzhou city, have tested positive for coronavirus, the Foreign Affairs Office of Guangzhou Municipal People’s Government communicated via a note verbale (diplomatic correspondence) to the Nigerian Consulate in Guangzhou.
According to the note verbale, dated April 22, the results of the tests conducted on 56 Nigerians, indicated that the affected individuals were asymptomatic, raising concern that they might have infected other people. The results were released on Tuesday.
The note verbale, which was also copied to the Nigerian Embassy in China, as well as the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria,disclosed that 16 Nigerians had earlier been confirmed positive, bringing the total number to 72.
The Chinese authorities said they are tracing 65 persons who had contact with those that tested positive.
The correspondence partly read, “According to the data by the Guangzhou Municipal Health Commission on April 21, there are currently 16 confirmed cases and 56 positive test cases among Nigerian citizens in Guangzhou, as well as 65 cases of contact.
“We invite the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Guangzhou to supervise Nigerian citizens in Guangzhou so they can abide by the law of the People’s Republic of China on the prevention and control of infectious diseases.”
“Asian citizens understand Guangzhou’s epidemic prevention and control; work and cooperate with China’s political support.”
The 56 that just tested positive are part of the over 2,000 Nigerians from China and other countries, who had indicated interest in returning to Nigeria due to coronavirus pandemic.
The Nigerian Government had announced plans to evacuate Nigerians in China first following complaints of racism against them in China.
In videos, shared on Social Media, they are reportedly been chased out of their residence and hotel accommodation, despite paying for them. Blacks had also been seen on viral clips prevented from going into grocery stores for shopping.
Geoffrey Onyeama, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, had summoned the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Zhou Pingjian, twice last week to register Nigeria’s displeasure over the treatment of Nigerians in his country.