IN PHOTOS: After PH confirms first case, schools on alert against coronavirus
IN PHOTOS: After PH confirms first case, schools on alert against coronavirus
To reduce the risk of possible infection, schools in Metro Manila, Rizal and Davao take precautionary measures inside the campus

MANILA, Philippines – Several schools took extra precautionary measures Friday, January 31, to protect its employees and students from the 2019 novel coronavirus (nCoV).

This move to prevent the spread of the virus came a day after the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed the first case of nCoV in the country.   

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that the confirmed patient was a 38-year-old woman who came from virus epicenter Wuhan and traveled to Cebu and Dumaguete before she was admitted to a government hospital in Manila. (READ: FAQs: Ano-ano ang alam natin tungkol sa 2019 novel coronavirus?

Close coordination 

In a statement, the Department of Education (DepEd) said that it was in close coordination with DOH officials to implement health guidelines in schools, particularly on decisions for  lockdowns in specific communities. It also urged the schools to cooperate with DOH.

Currently, its efforts are focused on promoting awareness and precautionary measures in schools and their immediate communities, using the information materials from DOH.

“We will consolidate available information from official sources, and discuss further actions, measures and mechanisms for readiness and response,” DepEd assured. 

As of Friday, January 31, DOH added that the number of patients being monitored for 2019-nCoV climbed up to 31 from the 29 people cited by the DOH on Thursday. 

Of the 31, 25 were admitted to hospitals, 5 had been discharged but were still being strictly monitored, and one – a man with a preexisting illness – died but it had yet to be determined if he also had 2019-nCoV.

Due to the increasing number of confirmed cases and deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an international emergency over the deadly novel coronavirus that killed 212 people and infected over 8,000 worldwide as of early Friday, January 31.  

Reducing the risks

Meanwhile, to reduce the risk of infections, schools in Metro Manila and in some provinces took on the necessary steps to promote the antiseptic technique among students and employees. 

It provided hand sanitizers and rubbing alochol at the entrance of the building and in various counters inside the campus. 

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), practicing hand hygiene is a simple yet effective way to prevent infection. 

Temperature checks were also done at school entrances.

Face masks were also given to students in some public schools. In Araullo High School for example, face masks were distributed to the students by the Manila City local government. 

According to the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (PSMID) and Philippine Hospital Infection Control Society (PHICS), face masks or surgical masks are designed to protect users from droplets and splashes that might cause possible infection. 

Both groups also reminded the public that masks are always worn colored side out. 

Below are some of the photos from different schools: 

Metro Manila 

QUEZON CITY. University of the Philippines Diliman

ERMITA, MANILA. Araullo High School. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

INTRAMUROS, MANILA. Colegio de San Juan de Letran. Photo courtesy of Letran Official

MALATE, MANILA. De La Salle University. Photo courtesy of The Lasallian


CAINTA, RIZAL. STI Cainta. Photo from Rhoda May Ebad


DAVAO CITY. Ateneo de Davao University. Photo courtesy of Ateneo News


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