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Jakarta Post

Coronavirus scare triggers stigma against students, Chinese Indonesians

  • Yulia Savitri and Ardila Syakriah

    The Jakarta Post

Palembang and Jakarta   /   Fri, February 7, 2020   /  08:04 am
The Jakarta Post Image
Residents wear masks in Penagi, Natuna, Riau Islands, on Sunday. Natuna Regent Abdul Hamid Rizal said residents were in good health and there was no exodus from the island after the arrival of Indonesian citizens returning from Hubei. (Antara/M Risyal Hidayat)

Indonesian students returning from China and Chinese Indonesians have had to suffer the effects of misinformation about the novel coronavirus outbreak, which has caused a public stigma against the two groups. Adam Amrismafasyah, a 19-year-old student at Jiangsu Normal University thought he would be able to rest easy once he arrived in his hometown in Muaraenim regency, South Sumatra, on Saturday. However, he was met with with suspicion and outright paranoia from locals who were not convinced that he was free of the deadly virus. “Some of my neighbors have steered clear of me. Others have asked me upfront whether I had been thoroughly examined and whether I was completely free of the coronavirus,” Adam told The Jakarta Post in a phone interview on Tuesday. He said the situation grew even more uncomfortable after health officials visited his home. The officials were fu...