As most of the people infected with the novel coronavirus are in China, the world's vigilance toward Chinese people is understandable. In the same way, the nation is on alert to those from Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak of the virus.
But when that vigilance goes too far and becomes racism overseas and discrimination at home, it will be counterproductive to the fight against the virus.
Although the virus has infected about 15,000 people and killed at least 300 people as of Sunday－with most of the infections and all the dead in China－there is no doubt that the fight should be an international campaign.
And it should be realized that China has already made great contributions to the global battle against the virus.
The administrative and industrial systems nationwide have been mobilized and people throughout the nation are playing their part in the fight against the novel coronavirus by quarantining themselves. Those in Hubei especially deserve praise for trying their best to keep the virus contained within the province.
Although it is necessary to closely monitor the physical conditions of those who traveled from China, and Hubei in particular, before it was known that there was a public health risk, instead of viewing them as threats, they deserve support, care and understanding at this moment.
That's why thousands of doctors and nurses from elsewhere in the country have volunteered to go to Wuhan, capital of the province, where more than half of the infected cases and the majority of deaths are, to fight against the virus shoulder to shoulder with locals.
That's why 7,000 people have worked day and night to build a 1,000-bed field hospital covering 60,000 square meters from scratch in just 10 days. The builders knew that every second counted; that the earlier it opened, the more lives would be saved. The hospital was put into operation as soon as it was completed on Sunday.
And that's why Chinese people sincerely appreciate the material assistance and moral support provided by various countries.
Those countries and regions now in the same trench should demonstrate the same efficiency and resolve that China has, and support China's efforts while taking all necessary measures themselves.
As the World Health Organization has stressed there is no reason to restrict travel and trade, countries and regions should heed China's experience in dealing with the virus.
It is essential to maintain transparency and release information to the public in a timely manner, so as to prevent panic.
The battle against the virus will be won, if we all fight it together.
HONG KONG NEWS