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Ivorians Meet COVID-19 Facilities With Fire

Protesters in Ivory Coast’s commercial capital, Abidjan, have destroyed a coronavirus centre that was being built in the district of Yopougon. Residents said it was being built in a crowded residential area, too close to their homes. Videos on social media show people tearing apart the centre with their bare hands, smashing construction materials on the ground. Some appeared to be hurling metal poles into a truck. The health ministry said the building was never intended as a treatment centre, only as a testing facility. The hostile response towards the testing centres is reminiscent of attitudes during Ebola outbreaks in West and Central Africa when some people attacked health workers, suspicious that they were bringing the disease to their communities, rather than offering crucial medical care. Two French doctors sparked fury by suggesting that an existing tuberculosis vaccine could be tested on African people to see if it cured coronavirus. Their words have fuelled existing fears that African people are to be used as guinea pigs to test a new coronavirus vaccine, though there is no evidence to support this claim.