Australians have been urged to “stand up and speak out” against racism and misinformation about the coronavirus as authorities reassured families there was no need for masks or to avoid Chinese restaurants.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Labor leader Anthony Albanese have united in a rare display of bipartisanship on Tuesday as the government weighs an extension of the ban on Chinese arrivals to Australia.
There are widespread reports that customers are avoiding Chinese retailers and restaurants despite the fact there’s no evidence to date of transmission in Australia.
Retailer Harvey Norman has already been forced to apologise after a store used the virus outbreak to promote ‘Australian made’ products.
About 530 Australians have been evacuated from China and are currently being held in quarantine on Christmas Island and at another site near Darwin.
The Diamond Princess cruise ship off Japan also has 229 Australians on board, 11 of whom have been diagnosed and given medical treatment.