COVID-19

No COVID-19 testing for students in face-to-face classes – DepEd

Bonz Magsambol
No COVID-19 testing for students in face-to-face classes – DepEd

COVID-19 TEST. A boy grimaces as he undergoes swab testing in Navotas City.

Angie de Silva/Rappler

'We really cannot imagine the small children undergoing the swab test. It's very traumatic,' says Education Assistant Secretary Malcolm Garma

The Department of Education (DepEd) said on Tuesday, November 9, that students joining the pilot run of limited face-to-face classes in the country will not undergo COVID-19 testing.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, Education Assistant Secretary Malcolm Garma said the Department of Health (DOH) did not recommend COVID-19 testing for children.

“We really cannot imagine the small children undergoing the swab test. It’s very traumatic. I mean even for us, adults, it’s difficult. The answer of DOH is really no,” Garma said.

He added: “They will not be subjected to swab or antigen testing. But we will rely on symptoms. So kapag nagkaroon ng symptoms ang bata (If they exhibit symptoms), the usual protocol of isolating and contact tracing will be undertaken.”

In the same briefing, Education Secretary Leonor Briones stressed that the process of swabbing for samples would be traumatic.

“It’s not the most pleasant experience. The trauma may be with them for some time,” Briones said.

In some countries where schools have reopened, such as the United States, pediatric COVID-19 cases are on the rise, with a record number of American children testing positive for the virus every week.

In the Philippines, the pilot run of limited face-to-face classes will only be happening in 100 public schools starting Monday, November 15, and in 20 private schools beginning November 22. These schools are from areas that are deemed low-risk for COVID-19 by the DOH.

There are about 48,000 public schools in the country.

The pilot run of in-person classes will include the following grade levels in the schools nominated by the DepEd:

  • Kindergarten: 12 students
  • Grades 1 to 3: 16 students
  • Technical vocational livelihood students in senior high school: 12 students
  • Senior high school: 20 students
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What we know so far: Pilot run of limited face-to-face classes in PH

– Rappler.com

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.