Queenslanders are being urged to unite behind the state’s Chinese community amid discrimination stemming from fears over coronavirus.
It comes as state government officials are sending text messages to the parents of 3760 people under the age of 18 who returned from China, including Hong Kong, in the past 14 days.
Dr Jeannette Young, the state’s Chief Health Officer, says those children should not attend school, childcare or TAFE until 14 days after the date of their departure from China and Hong Kong as a precaution.
The advice also applies to teachers, staff and anyone else who attends these facilities.
Michael Ma, secretary-general of Queensland Chinese United Council, says school children have been harassed and discriminated against.
“It is a virus we call the coronavirus, not China virus,” he told reporters in Brisbane on Saturday.
“What we are going to do is isolate the virus, not Chinese.”
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has told the community not to be afraid as health officials work to contain the spread of the virus.
“It is very important that people do not discriminate against our Chinese community,” she said.
“They are so involved, they contribute so much to our community, and all of the communities are absolutely doing the right thing, especially families returning from China.
“So, please, everybody do the right thing and show respect and treat everybody equally and go about your normal business.”
Meanwhile, a 44-year-old man and a 42-year-old woman from Hubei Province who were confirmed to have the virus are recovering in a stable condition in Gold Coast University Hospital.
The Chinese Women’s Football Team, which is in quarantine in The Westin Brisbane hotel, have not shown symptoms of the virus.