A radio station in the Netherlands had to apologise after receiving severe backlash for playing a parody song that blamed Chinese people and Chinese food for the deadly Coronavirus. The song titled 'Prevention is better than Chinese' by an artist named 'Toon' was reportedly been played at Dutch carnivals and a show on Radio 10, a radio station in the Netherlands
The new strain of Coronavirus, in a span of few months, has killed over 1,000 people and infected thousands more in China. While the death toll from the epidemic is continuing to climb, the song was considered 'discriminatory and inhumane'.
I've seen the videos of Asians being verbally abused and physically assaulted for wearing a face mask. We are scared. We fear for the people in Wuhan, and we fear for the ones who might come across the wrong people at the wrong time. For Radio10, it's "just a joke, lighten up". pic.twitter.com/cuY25AxWyD— Janet Lie (@shanetlie) February 8, 2020
The Asian community in the Netherlands backlash against the song and video and launched a petition called 'We are not viruses' asking people to take a stand against racism and discrimination.
In their apology, the radio station said that the sketch involving the song was meant entirely as a satirical pick-up on current events. The station went on to say that the sketch has caused many a lot of pain and they deeply apologise for that. The DJ who played the song, Lex Gaarthuis, has also uploaded a personal apology on Facebook and claims that he had no intention to spread racism or hate against anyone. The station also said that they have removed the videos from all channels.
Amid the unprecedented coronavirus outbreak, the Chinese government on February 10 eased some restrictions on work and travel and the workers now are reportedly returning back to offices and factories. The coronavirus epidemic has already claimed 908 lives with 3,052 additional cases confirmed by health authorities taking the overall number of cases to 40,171.
China’s National Health Commission on Sunday said it confirmed the new cases and 97 additional deaths mostly in Hubei province which is the largest death toll in a single day since the outbreak was detected.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation informed on Monday that it is convening a global research and innovation forum to mobilize international action in response to the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The forum, to be held on February 11-12 in Geneva, is organized in collaboration with the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness.
The forum will bring together key players including leading scientists as well as public health agencies, ministries of health and research funders pursuing 2019-nCoV critical animal health and public health research and the development of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, among other innovations.