Protect students from coronavirus strain, senator tells DepEd
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - January 23, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) should put schools on alert and ensure that preventive measures are in place to protect students from a new coronavirus strain that has already struck 222 individuals across neighboring China, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said yesterday.

 The senator underscored the need for safety measures following an announcement by the Department of Health (DOH), which revealed a suspected case of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in a five-year old Chinese boy who flew in from Wuhan, China to Cebu City. 

While there are no confirmed cases of the 2019-nCoV in the Philippines to date, he said schools should exhaust all measures from information dissemination to intensified sanitary measures to keep students safe, as well as school employees and workers. 

“We must be even more vigilant with the entry of one confirmed case that can spread to others,” said Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate committee on basic education.

He said schools should have protocols in place if they identify students displaying flu-like symptoms.

He also said schools should emphasize preventive measures and practice good hygiene such as frequent hand washing, observance of cough etiquette, distancing one’s self from people with respiratory problems, and proper cooking of food, to name a few.

Sen. Nancy Binay meanwhile called on the Department of Health (DOH) and other government agencies to prepare an emergency response plan and ensure that the government is fully equipped to address a possible outbreak of a mysterious respiratory disease from China.


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