AGENCIES | Guangzhou/Nairobi – 165 Kenyans who were stranded in China due to the Covid-19 pandemic have arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
They had left Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport at 8:27 pm on Saturday with Kenyan ambassador to China, Sarah Serem seeing them off.
“KQ883 from Guangzhou, China is now back home. It’s always a pleasure to be of service to our country and our fellow Kenyans. Karibuni Nyumbani,” a tweet from Kenya Airways reads.
Amb. Serem said the Kenyan embassy and Chinese authorities helped passengers with verification of travel documents and reissue of lost or expired travel papers.
She and her team temporarily relocated to Guangzhou from Beijing “in order to offer real-time support …and ensure that all the passengers have been issued the necessary travel documents.”
In April, African ambassadors in China wrote to the country’s foreign minister over what they termed as discrimination against Africans.
At approximately 0300 hrs this morning, KQ883 touched down from Guangzhou, China. It was our pride to fly Kenyans home…just in time for Mother’s Day. We applaud the Government of Kenya and all authorities involved in making this happen. @ForeignOfficeKE #TogetherWeCan pic.twitter.com/19HtLeaToQ
— Kenya Airways (@KenyaAirways) May 10, 2020
Several African countries also separately demanded that China address their concerns that Africans, in particular in the southern city of Guangzhou, were being mistreated and harassed.
Having brought under control the original outbreak centred on the city of Wuhan, China has been concerned about imported cases and stepped up scrutiny of foreigners. It however denied any discrimination.
Africans in Guangzhou reported being ejected from their apartments by their landlords, being tested for coronavirus several times without being given results and being shunned and discriminated against in public.
Such complaints were seen on local media and social media.
The ambassadors’ note said such “stigmatisation and discrimination” created the false impression that the virus was being spread by Africans.
“The Group of African Ambassadors in Beijing immediately demands the cessation of forceful testing, quarantine and other inhuman treatments meted out to Africans,” it read.
The note was sent to State Councilor Wang Yi, the Chinese government’s top diplomat, copying the chair of the African Union, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and all African foreign ministers.