An Asian bus driver was reportedly verbally abused by a racist passenger in Melbourne, Australia in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The racial abuse came from a female passenger who allegedly accused the bus driver of bringing the novel coronavirus from China to Australia, reports 9News.
“She called me corona, she called me China, she called me bringing the virus to Australia,” the victim was quoted as saying. “It’s terrible, it’s disgusting.”
The victim, who said he has been living in Australia for 15 years, noted that the woman jumped off the bus when he started calling the police.
In response to the incident, Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews condemned the abuse and committed to personally reaching out to the bus driver.
“No-one deserves to be treated like that and it is simply wrong,” said Andrews. “That is not a Victorian thing to do and the people involved in that should be ashamed of themselves.
“I will try and speak to that bus driver if I can get a number for him. I will give him a call tonight and I will thank him on behalf of all Victorians. He is doing really important work and he is putting himself in harm’s way in terms of the virus and all those pressures and challenges that he is facing.”
One Twitter user shared his own racist encounter while he was with his son recently.
Since COVID-19 began spreading globally, there has been a spate of racist incidents reported around the world.