Gambians who were quarantined in Guangzhou as part of the Chinese government “heavy-handed” and “discriminatory” response to a second wave of the coronavirus crisis have been released after testing negative for the virus. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release eleven Gambians including 7 students and 4 businessmen who were quarantined have been released. 

The Ministry said it conducting its own enquiries through The Gambia Embassy in Beijing after concerns were raised about the Chinese government mass testing and quarantine of Africans including Gambian nationals Guangzhou, China. 

The Ministry said it received the following updates on its enquiries: 

“A male Gambian student and his spouse quarantined on April 9th 2020 have been released from the hotel and are now back at their residence.

“Another male student who was quarantined in his dormitory on April 11th 2020 was also released on April 18th 2020. The Covid-19 test conducted on him was negative. 

“On Sunday 19th April 2020, a young Gambian male student was released after he had tested negative for Covid-19. 

“Another male student was released on April 21st 2020 after testing negative for Covid-19. 

“In addition, 4 Gambian businessmen, one student and a spouse of one of the Gambian businessmen were also released from isolation in their residences on Wednesday 15th April 2020. All of them had tested negative for Covid-19. 

“Additional information reaching this Ministry, indicates that all Gambian students in Wuhan and other provinces commenced online classes since February 17th 2020.”

The statement added: “The Gambia Embassy in Beijing remains committed to assisting our Gambian nationals in dealing with any challenges they may face. 

“The Ministry therefore encourages all Gambians in China to remain in constant contact with the Gambian Embassy in Beijing.”

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