A woman from Taiwan has spoken out about alleged discrimination she faced from fellow market traders following fears over the spread of coronavirus.
Stallholder Su Chu Lu, who has lived in Aberystwyth for 22 years, told ITV News she returned to work after a three week holiday in Taiwan and was told by other traders to leave and “quarantine” herself.
The alleged incident has since been referred to the police.
The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak continues to rise with Chinese authorities reporting 490 victims and an increase in the number of cases to 24,324.
On Tuesday, the UK Government urged Britons in China to return home, with England’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock adding the UK was “taking no chances” and did not rule out the possibility of the UK closing its borders to China to limit the spread of the virus.
Critics have said the UK’s decision to urge Britons to return home could risk causing more panic than necessary, as the mortality rate of those with the disease is estimated to be around two per cent.
The World Health Organization said it is still early in the outbreak, but coronavirus does not yet constitute a pandemic.
Su told ITV News that the discrimination she faced was “completely unexpected”.
“These people had worked with me for many years and I never expected this type of treatment.
“I was trying to explain the fact I didn’t go to China and I was in Taiwan all the time. I explained how far Taiwan is from Hubei province but people still didn’t believe me.
“One of the traders told me everyone in the building thought I should leave otherwise I would put everyone at risk, and if I didn’t leave they would contact the council to force me out.”
Su, who has been a market trader for 15 years, said she refused to leave her stall. “I didn’t leave because nobody has the right to ask me to leave but I was really upset.”
“I love being a trader here. You talk to the public and make lots of friends – it’s a great way to connect to society. I love Aberystwyth and the people here – they are really lovely and genuinely kind.”
Su said she has received lots of support since speaking out about the incident and said she has chosen to forgive the traders who “went against” her.
“I just want things to be back to normal. We need to come together to fight this virus not against each other”.
Dr Giri Shankar from Public Health Wales told ITV Wales people should be “alert as to what is happening, but now panic at all.”