An Indian-origin woman trainee lawyer in the UK fell unconscious after being beaten by an unidentified man when she tried to save her Chinese friend from a racist attack over coronavirus, media reports said on Monday. The incident took place when Meera Solanka (29) from England's Solihull town was out with her friends, including her Chinese friend Mandy Huang (28) from London, celebrating her 29th birthday in Midlands region.
Solanka was knocked unconscious and hospitalised after she stepped in when Mandy was told: "Take your f****** coronavirus back home!", Birmingham Mail newspaper reported.
Mandy was accused of carrying the virus outside Birmingham's Ana Rocha Bar and Gallery on Frederick Street in the early hours of February 9.
"I was having birthday drinks with a group of girls and guys including Chinese friends. There were a group of Asian men inside the venue - one of them kept coming up to me and harassing me. He seemed to have a problem with me being an Indian girl with a multi racial group of friends.
"For some reason he got really angry with her (Mandy) and started abusing her calling her a dirty chink. He said "take your f****** coronavirus and take it back home. I was shocked and angry so I shouted for him to stop and tried to push him away," Solanki was quoted as saying by the Sunday Mercury newspaper.
"He punched me in the head, I hit the pavement and was knocked unconcious," she said.
Solanki was rushed to hospital where she was treated for concussion.
"I was so shocked and horrified by his aggressive behaviour and horrific words. As I lay unconscious he continued to threaten my friends and abuse them before walking away calmly with his group of friends who did nothing to stop him or help me," she said.
A spokeswoman for Birmingham Chinese Society said: "There has always been abuse. The virus has given some individuals a reason for that abuse."
A West Midlands Police 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.
"A man made racist marks 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 police said that the attacker is described as an Asian, 5ft 8ins tall, of large build and was wearing a flat cap and hoodie at the time.
According to the report, there are 400,000 Chinese people living in England and Wales.
More than 2,500 people have died and over 77,000 infected with the deadly coronavirus outbreak in China, according to health officials.
The novel coronavirus, officially known as 'COVID-19', has spread to over 25 countries across the world.