DepEd official tests positive for coronavirus

Bonz Magsambol
DepEd official tests positive for coronavirus
The patient attended the National Schools Press Conference and National Festival of Talents, which involved around 8,000 students

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) on Friday, March 27, confirmed that a schools division official in Mandaluyong City tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The patient is confined at a hospital and is recovering.

“Within the DepEd community, we have checked on his colleagues with whom he had close contact prior to hospitalization. None of them has exhibited respiratory symptoms so far,” the education department said in a statement.

The patient attended the National Festival of Talents (NFOT) and the National Schools Press Conference (NSPC), which were participated in by around 8,000 students from private and public schools. Both happened from March 9 to 13. NFOT was held in Ilagan City, Isabela while the NSPC was held in Tuguegarao City.

The two national events pushed through despite the heightened alert because the “participants are already in the venue” when DOH confirmed that COVID-19 cases in the country had risen to 6.

The DepEd said that they have coordinated with the health department for “extensive contract tracing as it is still an imperative for an effective containment.”

“We fully understand the seriousness of the situation, and our Department is taking the necessary steps for the safety of our learners, teachers, and the public. The health and well-being of our teachers and learners being our highest priority, we will monitor the case closely and follow up on any further developments that may arise,” the DepEd said.

As of Thursday, the Philippines has 707 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 45 deaths and 28 recoveries. –


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Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.