From blaming Chinese food habits to criticizing their religious customs for the coronavirus outbreak, Sinophobia is gripping the world from east to west. As Covid-19 goes global, fear-mongering and Sinophobia is also spreading hand in hand.
Fortunately, the world is not full of such biased and racist people. With the growing outbreak of coronavirus as a global epidemic, we have also met the heroes of our time – the Chinese doctors and nurses– who have been valiantly fighting one of the most severe existential threats in the modern history of humankind.
The physicians and the nurses have been at the frontline in the fight against the deadly pathogen. They have been fighting the virus by treating infected people and consequently sacrificing their lives, but nothing has stopped them.
Wearing protective robes and masks, these physicians and the nurses have been relentlessly taking care of infected patients.
As we praise the medics, we must also not forget the role of media on the ground. When people run for their lives from infected areas, media personnel hunt for stories of infected patients, and inform the world of all the latest updates of the coronavirus outbreak.
In fact, it is through the bravery of the media personnel that we have come to see the role of physicians and nurses at the hospitals. We have seen how they change empty oxygen cylinders for patients, serve medicine and food, all of which expose them to life-threatening infections.
These courageous frontline fighters put their own lives and that of their families at risk. At the hospitals, they cure unknown Covid-19 patients who are not their bloodline. The only thing that binds them is the bond of humanity.
As of Monday, the epidemic continues to expand rapidly worldwide, topping 90,000 cases and 3,000 deaths. Meanwhile the total number of confirmed cases in mainland China has so far reached 80,151, and the death toll to date is 2,943.
On the bright side, however, every day around 1,000 patients are being discharged from Chinese hospitals on an average because they have been cured with diligent care. "The rapid rise of virus cases in Wuhan has been controlled" Mi Feng, a spokesman for China's National Health Commission told journalists.
Reuters reported that the new cases in Wuhan fell to 111 from 193 a day earlier, and accounted for almost all of the 114 new infections in central Hubei province, while excluding Hubei, there were 11 new cases in mainland China on Monday.
On March 1, China confirmed that more than 50 percent of patients have been cured of the coronavirus infection.
But curing so many patients came at a heavy price. At least three doctors have lost their lives so far after being infected by the virus.
According to The Times, at least 18 medical workers involved in the COVID-19 response died as of Monday. The number includes "nurses and doctors who died not because of infection but because of cardiac arrest or other ailments due to overwork and fatigue."
On February 14, China's National Health Commission disclosed that 1,716 frontline medics nationwide had been infected by Covid-19. Nearly 90 percent of those medics came from Hubei province – the epicenter of the outbreak. But the true successors of Florence Nightingale and Mother Teresa did not back down.
So, terming these doctors who sacrificed their lives for the cause of humanity as "martyrs" – as China does – is anything but an exaggeration. The role they are playing in the face of imminent death and lurking danger will be celebrated for years to come.
The deadly virus has been a real test for "humanity" as a race and its collective conscience. Sadly, not many people scored well in this test. Whereas the medics chose to fight, many chose fear mongering and Sinophobia as their last resort.
Neck to neck with the medics, a large number of scientists and pathogen researchers have also been working relentlessly to find a cure for the deadly virus in their laboratories.
Voluntary workers from various sections of society and people from law enforcement agencies and armed forces have also come forward to join hands with the real superheroes who are striving to build a shield between mankind and the virus.
The new coronavirus outbreak is no longer a crisis within a community or a secluded region. It has already turned into a catastrophe for the whole world and the human race. Since January 24, 50-150 people have been dying almost every day in the outbreak. The death toll record has passed all previous records of mass human loss in recent history.
Besides a few, the world has been in the grip of panic over the surge. Many people who are trying to maintain the food chain and amenity services in Chinese cities struggle to continue their work.
At this point in the history of mankind, all of civilisation should have come forward to support China and infected people all across the world.
Sadly, we see people spreading hatred against the Chinese people instead.
When such xenophobia and fear mongering against Chinese people all across the world are being perpetrated shamelessly, we turn to our heroes as our last resort of hope.