February 27, 2020 / 9:59 AM / a month ago

U.N. asks world to fight virus-spawned discrimination

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet attends a session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, February 24, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

GENEVA (Reuters) - United Nations human rights guardian Michelle Bachelet urged the global community on Thursday to show solidarity with people of ethnic Asian origin subject to discrimination amid an outbreak of a novel coronavirus that started in China.

“The coronavirus epidemic has set off a disturbing wave of prejudice against people of Chinese and East Asian ethnicity, and I call on member states to do their utmost to combat this and other forms of discrimination,” she told a session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Governments are ramping up measures to battle a looming global pandemic of the coronavirus as the number of infections outside China for the first time surpassed those appearing inside the country.

Reporting by Michael Shields; editing by Stephanie Nebehay

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