Jamaicans shun Chinese restaurants amidst coronavirus fear

Coronavirus is alleged to have started in a Chinese restaurant, in Wuhan China. And even though there is no case of coronavirus in Jamaica, the Chinese restaurants here are feeling the effects of a stigma that as developed against Chinese food outlets.

In a Jamaica Observer article yesterday, Chinese restaurants owners revealed that they are suffering loses because of this stigma.

A representative from Big China Restaurant in Portmore reported that business had declined by close to 50 per cent.

“A lot has to do with the fears, what happened at UWI (University Hospital of the West Indies) in the week and the fake news topics that have been going around,” he said.

Another Chinese restaurant employee said his restaurant has received no new customers since the coronavirus outbreak.

“Dining wise, we have been affected. Fi di week, since the announcements, we nuh really get nuh dining order, no walk-in, nobody nah really book no reservations to that. Only regular customers alone book dem reservations. All fi a hour yesterday mi never get no call, and this is a really busy place,” a worker at the popular China Max restaurant said.

The worker said the decrease in business is because of the general fear of Jamaicans.

“Jamaican people fraid a everything enuh, yuh understand? Dem even fraid fi eat food a restaurant, especially Chinese restaurants from the onset, and worse now the news of the breakout, you know dem a kill the source. A so Jamaican people stay, we kill the source,” she said.