Woman punched in face and knocked out during 'racist' coronavirus attack

24 February 2020, 16:37

Officers are investigating after the attack
Officers are investigating after the attack. Picture: PA

A woman has been knocked unconscious while trying to protect a friend who was being racially abused over the coronavirus outbreak.

Meera Solanki, 29, was punched in the face while celebrating her birthday in Solihull after a man had told her and her Chinese friend to "take your coronavirus back home".

Ms Solanki told Birmingham newspaper the Sunday Mercury that the man repeatedly "harassed" her and her friends before telling her Chinese friend to "take your coronavirus and take it back home".

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She told the paper when she stood up for her friend Mandy Huang, 28, the man punched Ms Solanki in the face.

The 29-year-old was in hospital for six hours before taking a week off work.

Read more: Coronavirus UK: Do surgical face masks work to avoid virus symptoms?

Since the outbreak started Chinese people in the UK have told LBC News their fears over a rise in discrimination and instances of hate crime amid the spread of COVID-19.

In a series of shocking incidents seen by LBC News, one woman posted on Facebook that she had been spat on over coronavirus, two teenage girls were filmed apparently shielding their noses and mouths as they walked past Chinese people in an arcade, and a Chinese bus passenger told how someone covered their mouth as they sat down beside her.

Read more: British-Chinese people tell of ‘discrimination’ and hate as fears rise over coronavirus

West Midlands Police confirmed it was investigating the incident.

A spokeswoman said: "We're investigating after a woman was assaulted after another was racially abused in Frederick Street, Hockley, around 2am on Sunday February 9.

Read more: ‘Don’t die, please buy’ Glasgow newsagent sells out entire stock of coronavirus face masks

"A man made racist remarks to one woman and after he was asked to stop he punched another female, in her 20s, in the face.

"She was temporarily knocked unconscious but escaped without serious injury.

"The attacker is described as Asian, 5ft 8ins, of large build and was wearing a flat cap and hoodie at the time."

Read more: Coronavirus UK: Schools to be advised not to close over suspected cases

Anyone with information can contact West Midlands us via Live Chat at west-midlands.police.uk between 8am and midnight or call 101 anytime. Quote crime reference number 20BW/39330Q/20.

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