COVID-19 and Savage Brutality on Africans by Chinese
By Zaid Olayiwola Olanrewaju
There has been numerous horror clips circulated in the past few weeks showing Chinese citizens attacking Africans living in China. A search of the above topic on a popular search engine returned about 177,000,000 results in 0.56 seconds, where the first 5 pages of the result were verified links of assault and abuse of Africans in China.
The top 5 results in ascending order are BBC.com with the caption “ Africans in China: We face corona virus discrimination”, The Conversation “Mistreatment of Africans in Guangzhou threatens China’s coronavirus diplomacy”, Washington Post “Why can’t the world do a better job of calling out racism in China?” , foreignpolicy.com “China’s Racism Is Wrecking Its Success in Africa – Foreign Policy” and dailymail.co.uk “Go back to Africa!’ Half-black beauty blogger, 24, faces racist abuse in China amid rising discrimination against Africans during coronavirus pandemic”.
It is a known fact that when the Wuhan virus epidemic started in China, Chinese media accused the USA of being racist by calling the now pandemic its right name Wuhan Virus. It seems the POTUS, Donald Trump was right in his use and continuous defence of the use of the word Chinese virus.
Controversial as it was in February when the USA placed a ban on anyone who has travelled to China, to stop the spread of the viral infection, the reaction in China was that it was an anti-China action, albeit, it has been accepted that it was an action taken too late.
Dr Keiji Fukuda, was quoted in a World Health Organisation publication on “guiding practices for naming of new human infectious diseases” as follows “This may seem like a trivial issue to some, but disease names really do matter to the people who are directly affected.
We have seen certain disease names provoke a backlash against members of particular religious or ethnic communities, create unjustified barriers to travel, commerce and trade, and trigger needless slaughtering of food animals. This can have serious consequences for peoples’ lives and livelihoods.” Despite this laid down guidelines the coronavirus which originated in Wuhan, China was named Covid-19.
This change in narratives on Wuhan Chinese virus 2019 is a lesson for the scientific, medical and press communities. This was an outbreak in China that was badly managed and spread round the world. There seems to be a lapse by the WHO because Covid 19 should have been named Wuhan Chinese virus if we follow established naming pattern, after all Lassa fever was named after a town in Borno state Nigeria, and Ebola was named after a village in Congo.
These places were actually the first locations of the outbreak of these diseases. International politics of naming convention excluded the Chinese from worldwide stigma they would have received if it was called Wuhan virus perhaps based on the nation’s economic strength.
This is entirely bias and unjust, no doubt. But nothing is more reprehensible, callous, obnoxious and discomforting than the fact that the Chinese who are meant to be stigmatised as cause of the pandemic ravaging the world are the ones attacking and stigmatising Africans living in China. Enough, should be enough!
Olanrewaju, a public affairs commentator, writes in from London, United Kingdom.
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Report By: PRNigeria.com