Two Hong Kong students were told to leave the classroom for wearing face masks in a university in Seoul, according to Ming Pao Daily. The news later triggered heated debate online.
Currently, South Korea is in the middle of a fatal epidemic due to the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS virus. So far, 20 people have died of the virus and 162 are confirmed to be infected.
The two students were from the City University of Hong Kong and went to study in South Korea under an exchange program at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul.
A professor told them “not to bring sensitive moods and feelings to the classroom and the country.” He also added that such sentiments were caused by SARS, another deadly viral disease which struck Hong Kong and southern China between 2002 and 2003, causing hundreds of deaths.
Due to the outbreak, many schools and organizations in Hong Kong have decided to cancel or postpone their arrangements in South Korea, with many Hong Kong students expressing a wish to move back home.