Novel Corona Virus and the Case of Novel Discrimination Based on ‘Feared Medical Condition’


  • Hafiz Ghulam Abbas Assistant Professor, Department of Law, Bahria University, Islamabad. Author
  • Muhammad Sajjad PhD Law Scholar, Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyah of Laws, International Islamic University, Malaysia. Author
  • Khalid Hussain Consultant Ombudsman Punjab. Author


Covid-19, novel discrimination, Feared Medical Condition, state responsibility


Covid-19 has caused not only a worldwide health crisis but also triggered issues on social, economic, legal and political fronts in novel embodiments. Already rampant online hate-speech against migrants, foreign workers and victims of xenophobia has taken new dimensions. Since outbreak of Covid-19 outside Chinese borders, there are numerous reported incidents, which continue to take place, around the world where people of Asian descent have been targeted by hate-mongers, hurled at racial slurs and, at mild scale, refused entry into hotels and restaurants being labelled as carriers of virus – generally a phenomenon described as ‘Sinophobia’ denoting hate towards Chinese ethnicity. However, in the present case, the issue of discrimination due to fear of being infected is unique and distinct from other forms of discrimination based on race, religion, sex, ethnicity, language etc. Racial discrimination is outlawed under international conventions, notably the Convention on Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), and state parties are required to undertake appropriate legislation to eliminate it.  Present crisis caused by Covid-19 has triggered a novel kind of discrimination which is not anchored, strictly speaking, in religious, ethnic or racial context but is based on a Feared Medical Condition (FMC) that an individual or group infected or likely to be infected can be responsible for transmission of the virus or disease to others. The objective of present study is to examine whether this peculiar type of discrimination is covered by selected instruments of international on human rights. If so, what are states’ responsibilities in eliminating such discrimination. The research employs analytical and qualitative method, and is followed by a conclusion and recommendations.


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How to Cite

Novel Corona Virus and the Case of Novel Discrimination Based on ‘Feared Medical Condition’. (2022). International Research Journal of Management and Social Sciences, 3(1), 1-8.

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