Staff and patients at a Melbourne hospital have been racially abused amid panic over the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
Parents at the Royal Children’s hospital have refused to let doctors and nurses of “Asian appearance” treat their children or are sitting away from other patients because of wrongful fears surrounding coronavirus, the hospital reports.
“Suggesting the spread of this virus has anything to do with ethnicity is wrong and shows complete disrespect for our hardworking healthcare workers – who devote each and every day to treating sick children and saving lives,” the health minister, Jenny Mikakos, said in a statement on Thursday.
The government said while the outbreak in mainland China is of concern, the risk of exposure to coronavirus in Victoria currently remains very low, and certainly has nothing to do with a nurse, doctor or patient’s ethnicity.
There have been seven confirmed coronavirus cases in Victoria, three of whom are currently in isolation after returning from the Diamond Princess cruise ship and another four who have recovered.