London

Coronavirus: Student from Singapore hurt in Oxford Street attack

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Media caption"I was attacked because of the colour of my skin"

A student from Singapore has said he was beaten up by a group of men who told him: "I don't want your coronavirus in my country."

Jonathan Mok, 23, said he was walking down Oxford Street last Monday when he heard shouts of "coronavirus".

When he confronted the four men, he said, they launched a surprise attack that left him badly hurt.

The Met Police said it was treating the attack as "racially aggravated". No arrests have been made.

University College London student Mr Mok, who included pictures of his injuries in a widely shared Facebook post, said he was attacked at about 21:15 GMT near to Tottenham Court Road station.

Describing the attack, he wrote: "All of a sudden, the first punch was swung at my face and took me by surprise."

Mr Mok said his face was "exploding with blood" from the attack, which left him in "daze and shock".

He said the coronavirus outbreak has been used by some as an excuse to "further hatred for people different from them".

"I just think it's a pity to have such experiences taint the image of this beautiful city with so many nice people," Mr Mok added.

Up to a fifth of the workforce may be off sick during the peak of a coronavirus epidemic in the UK, the government has said in its latest plans.

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