Chinese authorities in the southern city of Guangzhou have reportedly evicted hundreds of African students and businessmen from their hotel rooms and apartments.

According to the BBC and several other sources, the move is the first step among several measures as local authorities rollout a testing campaign for COVID-19.

However, those evicted say they are being targeted and discriminated against.

Some residents have told the BBC that they have been evicted from their apartments, others say that they have been put into forced quarantine without knowing the results of their tests.

“They are accusing us of having the virus,” said Tobenna Victor, a Nigerian student in the city.

“We paid rent to them and after collecting rent they chased us out of the house. Since last night we have been sleeping outside.”

Businessman Lunde Okulunge Isidore, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, said:

“They came to my house. They told me to wait after 24 hours for the result, [but] after 24 hours nobody contacted me.”

Guangzhou is home to one of China’s largest African communities and has become a hub for African traders buying and selling goods to the continent.