By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
As developments on the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) continue to unfold, the Department of Education (DepEd) enjoined its school officials and teaching and non-teaching personnel to strictly observe preventive measures to protect themselves against the deadly virus.
DepEd issued health reminders and preventive measures prescribed by the Department of Health (DOH) to stakeholders, as well as information, educational, and communication (IEC) materials on nCoV which can be downloaded by schools for dissemination.
In its recent infographic, DepEd said schools should observe precautionary measures or “STOPNCOV” by:
Seeing a doctor if symptoms of cough and colds persist;
Take 8 to 10 glasses of water daily;
One’s health is important and can be achieved by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a clean environment;
Prepare healthy and well-cooked meals;
Never forget to cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing;
Crowded places and contact with farm and wild animals should be avoided;
Observe proper hand washing techniques with soap and water regularly; and
Vitamin C supplements and vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetable should be taken daily.
In the latest 2019-nCoV ARD Situation Report prepared by DepEd’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service (DRRMS) obtained by Manila Bulletin, DepEd “agreed to maximize school-based campaigns on the 2019-nCoV ARD (acute respiratory disease),” based on the 2nd Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Meeting for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
DepEd said that it will continue to monitor and disseminate updates from DOH and World Health Organization, and coordinate with regions and divisions; coordinate with the School Health Division of the Bureau of Learner Support Services for the issuance of guidelines and measures for the 2019-nCoV ARD; and will convene the DepEd Quick Response and Recovery Team (QRRT) to discuss the immediate actions to be undertaken in response to the 2019-nCoV ARD.
Last week, the Philippines confirmed its first case of 2019-nCoV involving a 38-year old Chinese woman from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak.
On Sunday, the DOH announced the first confirmed death in the Philippines when a 44-year-old Chinese man also from Wuhan, who tested positive for the virus, died over the weekend.
Based on reports, DOH said the number of persons being monitored in the Philippines for possible nCoV infection has reached 80.