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Toronto, Jan 28 (Canadian-Media): Parents are being requested by a letter by an Ontario school board not to make assumptions about the new coronavirus after thousands of parents signed a petition calling on the York Region District School Board to keep students, whose parents had travelled to China, home for at least 17 days, as this could provoke xenophobia and racism against the Chinese community, media reports said.
Xenophobia. Image credit: Twitter handle of UNHCR
Chair of York Region District School Board Juanita Nathan rejected this call and said that parents need to be concerned and overcautious about coronavirus after Canada's top public health official said Monday that the risk to Canadians remains minimal and that parents should not single out a community at this time
Nathan also said there is no need for students to wear masks.
Although the virus originated in a Chinese city, the school board said that it is not to be seen as a Chinese virus.
"At times such as this, we must come together as Canadians and avoid any hint of xenophobia, which in this case can victimize our East Asian Chinese community," the letter said.
"Situations such as these can regrettably give rise to discrimination based on perceptions, stereotypes and hate."