MANILA – The Department of Education (DepEd) on Saturday said it was seeking the guidance of the Department of Health (DOH) in the conduct of its two major activities within the month after the new coronavirus disease (Covid-19) Alert System was raised to Code Red sublevel 1 in the country.
“DepEd is ready to implement all necessary proportionate response to the latest developments upon receipt of the definitive advisory from the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease which we understand is set to meet on Monday,” it said in a statement.
The agency added that Education Secretary Leonor Briones has communicated with the DOH for some health guidelines for the conduct of the National Schools Press Conference (NSPC) and the National Festival of Talents (NFOT)
The NSPC and NFOT started on March 7 and will end on March 15
“(The date is) inclusive of travel, with recommendation to be allowed to proceed under the circumstances that participants are already on travel or at the venue, with observance of heightened precaution,” the DepEd said.
On Saturday, the DOH confirmed that the 5th case of Covid-19 in the country was the first case of local transmission in the country after verification with the Bureau of Immigration showed that the patient had no recent travel history.
The DOH also reported that the patient’s wife tested positive for the disease after contact tracing was done, bringing the total number of Covid-19 cases in the country to six.
The 6th confirmed case is a 59-year-old female who was admitted with cough at the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine on March 5. The patient is currently in stable condition.
DOH has raised the Covid-19 Alert System to Code Red sublevel 1 as it confirmed localized transmission and in anticipation of possible sustained community transmission.
The DOH clarified that such action is a preemptive call to ensure that national and local governments and public and private health care providers can prepare for a possible increase in suspected and confirmed cases.
With Code Red, the DOH has recommended to the Office of the President the declaration of a State of Public Health Emergency which will facilitate mobilization of resources, ease processes, including procurement of critical logistics and supplies, and intensifying reporting. (PNA)