The Manila Health Department, however, clarified that there was no confirmed 2019-nCoV case at the hospital.
6 Manila Chinese schools suspend classes
Rey Galupo (The Philippine Star) - January 28, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Six Chinese schools in Manila suspended classes yesterday after reports came out that a Chinese national was confined for novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) at the Metropolitan Hospital in Binondo, which Manila officials denied.

The schools that suspended classes were the Philippine Academy of Sakya, Saint Stephen’s High School, Saint Jude Catholic School, Chiang Kai Shek College on Padre Algue and Narra and Uno High School.

The Manila Health Department (MHD), however, clarified that there was no confirmed 2019-nCoV case at the hospital.

Dr. Arnold Pangan, Manila health officer, told Mayor Isko Moreno that the supposed infected person was a 27-year-old Chinese national working at a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO).

Pangan said the POGO worker lives at the boundary of Pasay and Parañaque and was rushed to the hospital last Jan. 25 for fever and severe coughing.

The patient came from Hubei province, China and arrived in the country last Jan. 8.

“MHD Surveillance Team, in coordination with DOH surveillance, and as per investigation, patient has fever and cough but negative on history of travel to Wuhan, China, and no history of exposure to a host or positive case,” he said.

It was later learned that the person has community-acquired pneumonia.

“The MHD is in continuous effort of intensive information dissemination in our public schools and respective barangays regarding precautions on stopping transmission of coronavirus,” Pangan said.

Moreno called on the public to avoid sharing unverified information to avoid anxiety.

He urged the public to immediately visit the nearest health center if they feel like they have symptoms of the virus.

Some schools in Metro Manila have advised their students, teachers and other personnel who recently traveled to China to self-quarantine amid the threat of the novel coronavirus.

The schools, which mainly cater to Chinese and Chinese-Filipino students, issued their respective advisories over the weekend as a safety precaution against the spread of the disease.

“Please do not send your children to school if they traveled to China or Hong Kong last week (Jan. 20 to 26, 2020). Keep them home for the next two weeks for self-quarantine,” read the advisory from the Makati Hope Christian School.

“They are to present a doctor’s clearance to the school clinic when they return to school,” it added, noting that alternative learning activities will be provided for them to work on at home.

Meanwhile, Uno High School in Manila indefinitely suspended classes starting Monday to gather information on the travel of students, teachers and staff shortly before and during the Chinese New Year.

“Those who have traveled or whose family members have traveled to places of the coronavirus infection have been confirmed… and to areas where numerous visitors from Wuhan were reported… must inform the school about their trips and go on self-quarantine for two weeks after the date of arrival,” it said.

“These absences from class will be excused. During this time of self-quarantine, please stay home and do not attend tutorials or go to other places,” added the school.

The school also requested students, faculty members and staff to report details about their recent travel, as well as go on self-quarantine if they had visits from family members or friends who traveled to areas with confirmed cases.

Chiang Kai Shek College said it will conduct a survey on students, teaching and non-teaching personnel on their history of travel abroad for the past two weeks as part of precautionary measures.

It will also conduct fever monitoring of students, faculty and staff entering the campus starting Tuesday.

The Department of Education (DepEd) said all schools that suspended classes in Metro Manila are Chinese schools, as many of their teachers and students traveled to China to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

“Private schools can suspend even without the permission of DepEd,” said Education Secretary Leonor Briones. “With these suspensions, they are required to hold make-up classes. For those who will be absent due to self-quarantine, they will be entitled to make-up classes and/or make-up examinations.” With Janvic Mateo

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