SARS: PINOY LEADERS IN CANADA CALL FOR CALMToronto, April 21, 2003 -- The Philippine Consulate-General in Toronto, Ontario and the Filipino Centre, Toronto (FCT) have asked various Filipino-Canadian organizations in the Toronto area to remain calm about the latest cases of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) in that country. Earlier, a cluster of SARS cases had been identified with the Bukas Loob sa Diyos (BLD), a religious group made up of mostly Filipino families in Toronto. Vice-Consul Edgar Badajos, acting head of the consulate, issued the call even as Toronto public health officials confirmed that all members of the BLD, numbering about 600, have been put on quarantine in an effort to arrest the spread of the infection. In his call, Badajos assured his constituency that Philippine officials maintain constant touch with Toronto public health authorities for this purpose. Badajos also said the Filipino community has been very cooperative with both Philippine and Canadian authorities. Likewise, he cited Linda C. Javier and other officers of the FCT for acting as the "voice" of the Filipino-Canadian community in the fight against SARS. A SARS advisory prepared by Dr. Mario Andres of the FCT intended for Fil-Canadian organizations in the Greater Toronto Area recommends the temporary suspension of non-essential group meetings or activities.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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