Expats in China now under suspicion of being virus carriers

Expats in China now under suspicion of being virus carriers

Expats in China now under suspicion of being virus carriers

As citizens in Wuhan and the rest of China claw their lives back from the pandemic, expat residents are now experiencing prejudice caused by the fear they’ll spark a new round of infection.

Expats living and working in China are now under suspicion of harbouring the covid-19 virus, especially if they’ve been travelling outside the country since the pandemic began. The original coronavirus outbreak seems now to be losing its strength, but the fear of new infections from imported cases is a serious issue causing suspicion and a lack of trust in foreign residents.

One Beijing-based expat told local media her formerly friendly neighbours are now far less than welcoming, adding she’s heard them discussing her schedule and questioning why she was leaving her home. Local community volunteers now question her and ask for proof of where she’s been. The local community is comparatively small and she’s the only foreign resident with a dog.

According to Chinese media outlets, some 90 per cent of imported covid-19 cases were Chinese students who’d returned from the UK or USA once the virus had taken hold and hadn’t realised they were carrying the infection back with them. Suspicion is now centred on Beijing’s expat population, with the Chinese government now barring entry to foreigners, even if they have residency permits.

Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore have also banned foreigners from entering, with Japan now barring arrivals from the majority of European countries and considering banning USA citizens as well. South Korea has chosen another prohibition in that all foreign arrivals must self-quarantine for at least 14 days. In addition, China’s severe shortage of international flights have left Chinese students stranded and at risk in many major education hubs in the West.

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