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Coronavirus impacting on lives, businesses of Chinese community in SA

Eyewitness News logo Eyewitness News 2020-02-05 Mia Lindeque

a sign in front of a building: China Town in Cyrildene, Johannesburg. © Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN China Town in Cyrildene, Johannesburg. CYRILDENE - Chinese nationals living here in South Africa have told Eyewitness News that they're conscious of the effect the coronavirus is having and the impact the outbreak is having on their businesses.

More than 400 people have died from the virus, the vast majority of them in China.

While there are no confirmed cases here on home soil, South Africa has stepped up screening in a bid to keep it that way.

There's a stark contrast here in Cyrildene between people wearing surgical masks and those going about there normal activities.

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Many people Eyewitness News approached were reluctant to speak about the coronavirus.

While some confirmed that the outbreak in China has impacted business here in South Africa and Cyrildene in particular, this resident has called South Africa home since 1993, he says that his business has taken a nosedive since the virus was reported.

"We've been doing business here for quite some time and you do pick up that there are less crowds over the weekend during this period of time when there's this outbreak of the coronavirus."

Tianyuan Fang moved to the country 21 years ago and owns a breakfast restaurant. He says that there are fewer customers compared to previous years.

"The business is very quiet. You can see down the street, there's nobody working."

Even South Africans who work in China Town here in Cyrildene are wearing masks as a precautionary measure, saying they can't take any risks.

WATCH: SA Chinese community faces racial stereotypes amid coronavirus outbreak

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Photos: Coronavirus outbreak (Supplied by MSN) 

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