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China advises Kenyans against discriminating its citizens over coronavirus

Health & Science

File photo of People travelling for the Lunar New Year wearing protective masks as they head to the departure area at the Beijing Capital International Airport, Beijing on Jan. 22, 2020.  [AFP]

The Chinese Embassy in Kenya has advised against racist remarks against its citizens visiting Kenya from China, the epicentre of the highly contagious coronavirus.

The embassy tweeted Thursday evening that such treatment could endanger their lives.

“We call upon a rational and scientific approach towards Chinese communities, firmly object any irresponsible and even racist remarks as seen from one of the MPs today,” said the Embassy.

Mavoko MP Peter Makau made what is being seen as an inflammatory appeal to his Constituents against the Chinese community in Athi River.

Makau also asked residents to isolate themselves from Chinese after 198 China citizens landed at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

This follows an outcry among Kenyans especially those living in Athi River at Sidai estate, where Chinese citizens believed to have arrived on Wednesday were spotted walking around despite self-quarantine instructions.

The Chinese, however, were wearing face masks.

Editor: [It was common, even before the outbreak of the virus, to see Chinese workers in Athi River in dust masks]

“If these people are supposed to be on self-quarantine, why are they outside walking around an estate with over 100 houses?” a resident reportedly wondered.

On its Twitter page, the embassy said those spotted were taking supplies to a female Chinese national who had arrived in the country on Wednesday.

 “She followed the instructions issued by the Ministry of Health and the Embassy, and quarantined herself in her apartment upon arrival,” said the Embassy.

Officials from the Health ministry established that she was “in good condition” after an examination.

The arrival of the 239 passengers caused a storm.

Kenyans fear the passengers could have contracted the infectious disease, which has spread to over 45 countries,  killed more than 2,800 people and infected over 83,000 worldwide with the vast majority in China.

Kenyans were furious with the government for allowing flights from the virus hit China into the country.

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