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Coronavirus: Come Back To Us -Chinese Restaurants Beg Nigerians

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By Zainab Sanni

Since it was announced that the corona virus disease had hit Lagos, many Nigerians have been avoiding “Chinese” restaurants in the country like they would an earthquake and a rattlesnake.

It does not even matter to them if they are just Nigerian-owned restaurants serving Chinese menus. Since the deadly disease originated from China, many Nigerians have become wary of anything Chinese.

Managers and owners of these restaurants have been complaining that
residents of the city, who used to patronise them have been refraining from doing so.

For Samuel Chikezie, manager of Chinaville restaurant, the drop can be attributed to the average Nigerian mentality.

“Nigerians are scared because of the average Nigerian mentality. Because of the name Chinese, they believe this is all Chinese stuff.”

” To be honest with you, all the restaurants right now are complaining. I would like to make an appeal to Nigerians that we are all Nigerians. we don’t have a single Chinese person working here and most of the items used here are Nigerian made goods. Rice is also not coming from China.

“I would like to appeal to Nigerians to continue patronising us in the interest of Nigerians that are working here.”

A staff of Jade Chinese Palace Cuisine who pleaded anonymity disagreed. He argued that there has been a drop generally. “It is not just Chinese Restaurant. It is also the same with many continental bars and restaurants then even businesses.”

However, Princewill Uchtay, MD of Prime Chinese Restaurant is hopeful that things would get better.

“People have just been skeptical but I am sure that with time, things would get better and the panic would reduce” he said.

Uchtay, however, agreed that “business has not been like before. The minute they confirmed the Italian man, everything just went down and we are begging customers to understand that we are blacks not Chinese, he appealed.

“We have put a lot of prevention measures in place including hand sanitizers at the entrance and on the tables” who further noted that his business has been in operation for 20 years, operating 24 hours and have never had a case of food poisoning.

This week, it was reported that a total of 36,117 Chinese people infected with coronavirus had been reportedly discharged from hospital after recovery. Perhaps, this good news will play a little role in making Nigerians change their minds about the Chinese restaurants they have been avoiding.

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