(Jin Ding/China Daily)
People returning to their workplaces after the novel coronavirus outbreak need to undergo a period of isolation－14 days in the case of Beijing－to prevent the possible spread of the virus. However, some communities have been discriminating against people who hail from places close to the epicenter in Hubei province, even if they were not returning from Hubei.
Some people have been stopped by community staff members from entering their homes, or by their bosses from returning to their offices. Others have received calls telling them to spend their quarantine period in a hotel room. They have faced difficulties even if they have not visited Hubei in the past two months. All it took for them to invite discrimination was their ID card number, particularly if it started with 420, indicating their hometown was somewhere in Hubei.
Such treatment meted out to people from Hubei is, without doubt, a kind of discrimination that has no place in a civilized society.
Reports say it is mostly community staff members who have tried to stop those hailing from Hubei from entering their homes for "stricter epidemic control". But such actions won't help, as they are targeting the wrong people.
We live in a supposedly modern society equipped with modern technologies. Three weeks ago, the three domestic telecommunications giants enabled a service that can track a user's movement over the past half month to show if they had been to Hubei. A train ticket, aircraft boarding pass or a private car's highway toll record can also indicate recent travel to Hubei.
However, none of these seem to matter for certain community staff members. All they care for is the ID number, while ignoring all other evidence. It is time to change this attitude, not only for the sake of people from Hubei, but also for better and more effective epidemic control.