School bans two Filipino families from sending their kids to class over coronavirus fears – despite the children having NEVER been to China
- Beth Botor and Mary Jane Dumalaon’s kids were taken out of class on Monday
- The deputy principal said their kids needed to be isolated over coronavirus fears
- The parents informed the school they didn’t travel to China only the Philippines
Two Filipino families who have never been to China had their children barred from school over coronavirus fears.
Beth Botor and Mary Jane Dumalaon were told their children – aged between seven and 12 – were pulled out of class following their return from the Philippines to Papakura Normal School in Auckland, New Zealand.
Students Kristel and Mary Dumalaon, and Joyce and Jasmine Botor returned from their holiday last week, but they were isolated from their classmates when they returned to school on Monday.
Beth and Ronne and their daughters Joyce, 11, and Jasmine, 7, who were forced out of class over coronavirus fears
Beth Botor and Mary Jane Dumalaon were told their children aged 7 to 12 were pulled out of class following their return from the Philippines to Papakura Normal School (pictured)
Ms Botor was about to leave for work when the school’s deputy principal Alison Copeland knocked on her door telling her her daughters needed to be isolated.
She presented Ms Botor with a notice off the Philippines Airline website that the government had banned flights between China and New Zealand.
Ms Botor told the deputy principal that they hadn’t travelled to China and didn’t travel on the airline after the Philippines restricted travel to Hong Kong where they would have transited.
The family swapped flights and flew Qantas which delayed their return to New Zealand until February 5.
‘I took the kids to the GP. The doctor said, ”You’re fine, just stay at home”,’ Ms Botor told the New Zealand Herald.
Mary Jane Dumalaon, centre, said her daughters Mary, 7, left, and Kristel, 12, ‘didn’t have a runny nose’
A general view of passengers arriving at Auckland International Airport on February 5
Ms Dumalaon received a call from the school to pick up her daughters from school regarding the same issue.
‘They are fine, they don’t have a runny nose or anything, that’s why I’m so frustrated about it,’ she told the publication.
The shocked mother’s were inconvenienced and had to take leave off work at Pak’nSave to stay at home with their daughters.
NZ International Students’ Association president Sabrina Alhady (pictured) said the school should’ve taken advice from the Ministry of Health
Principal Derek Linington apologised to the families and said their decision was based on advise from the Ministry of Education.
‘While we initially asked a family to self-isolate, based on our discussions with the Ministry of Education and on Ministry of Health advice we have advised the family that they are now able to return to school immediately,’ he told NZ Herald.
NZ International Students’ Association president Sabrina Alhady said it was ‘problematic’ that the school didn’t take advise from the Ministry of Health to begin with.
‘While education providers are looking to minimise risk, it is clear that there is an underlying sense of fear and hysteria further contributing to misinformation,’ she said.
Schools International Education Business Association chairman Patrick Walsh said precaution needed to be taken when dealing with these issues.
‘That talk needs to be contained because that increases the risk of slipping across to xenophobic attitudes, which we don’t want to take hold in any way.’
AUSTRALIANS WITH THE CORONAVIRUS
NEW SOUTH WALES: 4
- Three men aged 43, 53, and 35 who had recently travelled to China are confirmed to have contracted the disease.
- Two flew in from Wuhan while the other arrived in Sydney from Shenzhen, south China.
- They are being treated in isolation at Westmead Hospital and are in stable condition.
- A 21-year-old woman is identified as the fourth person to test positive for the illness in NSW.
- The woman, a student at UNSW, flew into Sydney International Airport on flight MU749 on January 23 and presented to the emergency department 24 hours later after developing flu-like symptoms.
- She is being treated in isolation at Westmead Hospital.
- A Chinese national aged in his 50s becomes the first confirmed case of the coronavirus in Australia.
- The man flew to Melbourne on China Southern flight CZ321 from Wuhan via Guangzhou on January 19.
- He is now in quarantined isolation at Monash Hospital in Clayton in Melbourne’s east.
- A Victorian man in his 60s is diagnosed with the coronavirus.
- He became unwell on January 23 – two days after returning from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak.
- The man was confirmed as positive on January 29 and was subsequently seen by doctors at the Monash Medical Centre. He was assessed as being well enough to stay at home.
- A woman in her 40s is found to have coronavirus.
- She was visiting from China and mostly spent time with her family.
- She is being treated at Royal Melbourne Hospital.
- A woman in her 20s in Melbourne is found to have the virus
- Queensland confirms its first case after a 44-year-old Chinese national wass diagnosed with the virus.
- He is being treated at Gold Coast University Hospital.
- A 42-year-old Chinese woman who was travelling in the same Wuhan tour group as the 44-year-old man tests positive. She is in Gold Coast University Hospital in stable condition.
- An eight-year-old boy has been diagnosed coronavirus. He is also from the tour group where the other Queensland cases came from
- The case was found in a 37-year-old man, who was a member of a group of nine Chinese tourists in quarantine on the Gold Coast
- A 37-year-old woman has been diagnosed with coronavirus from the same travel group that flew to Queensland from Melbourne on January 27
SOUTH AUSTRALIA: 2
- A Chinese couple in their 60s who arrived in Adelaide from Wuhan to visit relatives are confirmed to have coronavirus.
- Two Australians have been confirmed as having the virus in Wuhan itself. Australia has raised the travel alert level to ‘do not travel’ for the city of Wuhan – the epicentre of the outbreak – and for the entire Hubei province.
- Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy says unless people have contact with someone who is unwell and has come from that part of China, there is no need for current concern.
- Four Australians are among 65 newly-confirmed coronavirus cases aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship docked at Yokohama.