With coronavirus outbreak raging havoc across the globe, a village in India is facing a looming threat of stigmatization. According to reports, residents of Corona, a village in Sitapur district of Uttar Pradesh, say ever since the disease broke out they have been facing discrimination because of a similar name. A resident of the village while talking to ANI said that if they tell someone they are from Corona, people start to avoid contact.
Residents of Corona, a village in Sitapur say they have been facing discrimination, ever since the outbreak of #coronavirus. Rajan, a villager says, "When we tell people we are from Corona, they avoid us. They don't understand that it's a village, not someone infected with virus" pic.twitter.com/gxz6oIx8UP— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) March 29, 2020
Meanwhile, the United States and China were involved in a war of words over the naming of the disease for quite some time. The United States and its President had started referring to the infectious disease as 'Chinese Virus', which the Asian superpower did not like and insisted they call it 'Coronavirus' instead. China called it racist and xenophobic and was also afraid of stigmatization, which the Corona residents are experiencing first hand.
There are earlier examples of viruses being named after a village or a river which has then led to the stigmatization of the place. For instance, African Americans felt extreme backlash after the outbreak of Ebola that originated in West Africa and later became a pandemic. Zika virus, which is named after a forest in Uganda, also brought a pinch of racism along with it. The most recent example can be the coronavirus outbreak, following which Asian people across the globe started facing discrimination because of its origin.
COVID-19 has claimed more than 33,900 lives across the world and has infected more than 7,23,000 people globally since it first broke out in December 2019. China was the most affected country until last week before Italy and Spain surpassed it to record the most number of deaths anywhere in the world due to COVID-19. The virus is believed to have originated from a seafood market in China's Wuhan city, the epicentre of the disease, where animals were reportedly being traded illegally.