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CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – Four of Cagayan de Oro’s biggest private schools reverted to online classes due to a surge in the number of people with flu-like symptoms in the city
In separate notices on Tuesday, September 26, the schools – Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, Liceo de Cagayan University, Lourdes College, and Corpus Christi – reported that many of their students fell ill and showed flu-like symptoms, including fever, cough, and body aches.
One of the schools, Liceo de Cagayan, said it decided to hold online classes beginning on Wednesday, September 27 to avoid “contamination by the new Nipah virus.”
Liceo de Cagayan suspended face-to-face classes from kindergarten to Grade 12 indefinitely.
Dr. Alain Marc Pelaez Golez, Liceo de Cagayan president, said the suspension of face-to-face classes would remain “until further notice.”
The Department of Health (DOH) in Northern Mindanao said it would conduct an investigation into the matter along with the Cagayan de Oro City Health Office, but added that its “stand is that there are no cases of Nipah virus in the country.”
DOH-Northern Mindanao Director Ellenietta Gamolo said, “While there are indeed cases of students and faculty experiencing similar signs and symptoms, it is not conclusive to declare such a virus as the causative agent.”
Evelyn Mosqueda, Lourdes College principal, said their campuses in downtown Cagayan de Oro and Barangay Macasandig would be disinfected, and she instructed their students not to go to school.
“Due to the number of students and personnel who are having fever and cough, nobody is allowed to enter the school,” Mosqueda said.
Mark Alfonso del Fierro, Corpus Christi school director for operations, said the school decided that online classes would be conducted among their pre-schoolers, elementary, and high school students from September 27 to 29 as a precautionary measure.
Xavier University said holding classes online would reduce “physical interactions and potential exposures” among students and teachers.
“This shift will allow us thorough cleaning and sanitization of our facilities,” Dulce Dawang, Xavier vice president for basic education.
Cagayan de Oro City Health Officer Rachel Dilla said they were encouraging residents to wear face masks again, practice frequent hand washing, and follow proper cough etiquette similar to what they did during the COVID-19 pandemic. – Rappler.com