DepEd creates task force to protect learners from novel coronavirus
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education has formed a task force to address the concerns and threats posed by the 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease on learners.
DepEd Task Force—which will lead the agency’s efforts in addressing the situation through “formulation of policies and development of strategies and action plans”—was created through DepEd Memorandum 11.
Part of its mandate is coordinating with the Department of Health for the implementation of school or office lockdown or suspension of classes or work in specific localities should a need arise and adopting information dissemination strategies on nCov and its prevention, control, management to address public fear and anxiety.
The task force is also directed to liaise with DOH teams tasked to trace individuals who were in contact with people who are confirmed to have the disease and work with the health agency on referral, management and treatment of cases.
“DepEd regards the novel coronavirus Acute Respiratory Disease as a matter of serious and urgent concern. It stands ready to contribute to the overall Philippine government efforts for the management of this public health situation,” the memorandum read.
The number of confirmed deaths from the novel coronavirus in China climbed to 360, exceeding the country’s death toll from the SARS outbreak. The illness has infected over 16,000 people in the nation.
The Philippines reported Sunday the first fatality outside China. The 44-year-old man was from Wuhan—the ground zero of the virus. He died Saturday after his condition rapidly declined.
His companion, a 38-year-old woman from Wuhan, was the Philippines’ first confirmed case. She is recovering in hospital.
A total of 36 persons are under observation for possible nCoV infection. Of the figure, two were confirmed carriers, while 24 tested negative and 10 have been discharged from hospital.