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Kibicho warns Kenyans against harassing Chinese nationals over coronavirus

The government has Kenyans against discriminating Chinese nationals in the country over the coronavirus outbreak because it is a global challenge.

Interior Principal Secretary Dr Karanja Kibicho, when answering questions from a Parliamentary Health Committee on Wednesday, asked Kenyans to be tolerant and treat all foreigners in the country with respect.

“This virus is now worldwide, and we have people from different countries here. Therefore, let us be humane and treat everyone with love and respect,” Kibicho pleaded and warned of tough action on offenders.

His remarks came a day after a clip went viral on social media showing a group of Kenyans mocking a Chinese couple and referring to them as corona in Kibera slums.

“If this is allowed to continue and their people decide to retaliate on the other side, then we will have more to lose,” said the CS.

Kibicho said that if such a trend continues, it might put more than 3,000 Kenyans living in China at risk if they decide to retaliate.

“We are worried as Interior because of what we are seeing now. Some Kenyans are mishandling Chinese nationals because of this coronavirus. I want to ask Kenyans to be careful because not all Chinese are sick,” he said.

In its latest tally, the World Health Organisation says there are more than 3,000 deaths and more than 93,000 cases reported around the world, many of them in China, but deaths have been reported in Italy, Iran and the United States.

In Africa, there are confirmed cases in Nigeria, Senegal but no death has been reported on the continent.

World leaders have warned against any form of discrimination of nationalities over the epidemic.