Friday 21 February 2020

Health minister defends Dutch Chinese against coronavirus slurs

Three people in an aeroplane wearing facemasks

Photo: David Woo/Flickr

Health minister Bruno Bruins has told MPs he is shocked by the way people in the Netherlands who are of Asian appearance are facing discrimination because of coronavirus.

Bruins had been asked to comment by GroenLinks parliamentarian Corinne Ellemeet, who told MPs she had heard of numerous cases. In one instance, passengers pulled their clothing over their mouths when they spotted a young Chinese girl sitting in a bus, Ellemeet said.

Bruins told MPs that he condemned the discrimination and that he would continue to make the same statement, inside and outside parliament. ‘We have to make sure this does not gather steam,’ he said. ‘We all have a part to play in this.’

Bruins also said he had no plans to close locations which are popular with Chinese tourists, as suggested by the anti-immigration PVV.

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