Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte approved the holding of limited face-to-face or physical classes for medical schools and allied health science programs, announced Malacañang on Tuesday, January 26.
The move is to ensure the country has enough doctors as it continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is for medical and allied programs in medical schools, in higher education institutions in MGCQ and higher education institutions in GCQ areas with base hospitals that cater to COVID patients,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque during a press conference.
GCQ or general community quarantine areas currently include Metro Manila, Batangas, and Davao City, among others. The rest of the country is under MGCQ or modified general community quarantine, the lowest quarantine classification.
The Palace did not elaborate on specific timelines for the resumption of classes. This article will be updated when these details are available.
It was Commission on Higher Education Chairman Prospero de Vera III who had recommended to Duterte that face-to-face classes resume in a limited and gradual manner in certain universities and institutions of higher learning.
The government previously allowed the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (PGH) to resume its clinical internship program. PGH is a major COVID-19 referral hospital catering to patients in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
The government earlier planned to hold a dry run of face-to-face classes in certain low-risk areas in January, but Duterte canceled it after news of the more transmissible COVID-19 virus variant called B117 erupted in the United Kingdom. – Rappler.com