Langley School District’s office. (Langley Advance Times files)

B.C. mom says parents pressured her to keep child at home due to coronavirus fears

The parent says her husband visited China, and other parents feared the coronavirus

A Langley parent says other kids were told not to play with her child, due to fears her husband might have caught the coronavirus on a recent trip to China.

The issue began earlier this week, said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous.

She told the Langley Advance Times by email that although her husband had no symptoms of illness, some parents contacted her on WeChat, a Chinese-language social media app, and asked that she quarantine herself at home and keep her child away from school.

She says she refused, and some other parents told their children not to play with hers. Some students were kept at home, she believes to avoid her child. She is worried there are other children who may be being kept at home because of similar pressure to self-quarantine.

“I believe there more families are suffering from the same discrimination and bullying in Langley,” the woman said.

The mother hasn’t talked to her child’s teacher, saying she’s worried she’ll be identified as speaking out.

She did send a letter to the school district, and was hoping a public notice could help the situation.

A request for comment to the Langley School District was forwarded to B.C.’s Ministry of Education, which issued this statement:

• The Provincial Health Officer is advising that the risk of spread of this virus within British Columbia remains low at this time and that all necessary precautions are being taken to prevent the spread of infection.

• We ask that people do not make assumptions about a person’s potential risk based on their ethnicity or travel history.

• The Ministry of Health has confirmed that individuals returning from affected regions do not need to be isolated at home or kept home from school.

The coronavirus has infected almost 10,000 people, most of them in China, and only three confirmed cases have been announced as of Friday in Canada, all among people who recently traveled to China.

READ MORE: B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

More than 200 people have died in total, all in China, with the disease having a fatality rate of around two per cent, with older people and those with previous health issues making up most of the deceased.

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