A Utility officer sanitizing the classroom for Face to Face teaching during Pandemic. Photo by Kristine Sabillo
MANAILA - The Ministry of Health said Wednesday that it still does not recommend resuming face-to-face instruction in the country's schools because nearly all districts still have active cases of COVID-19.
This is against the backdrop of calls to limit physical activity in certain programs, especially medical ones.
Health Minister Francisco Duque III previously stated that full-time education can be resumed in areas with zero incidence of COVID-19. But during a Health Ministry briefing on Wednesday, he said that new cases of COVID-19 continue to be reported in key areas.
"Sa hanay nga mga probinsya and cities with high levels of urbanization and cities with independent components, halos wala nang place na zero cases in the last 2-4 weeks," the health director said.
(As for provinces, as well as cities with high levels of urbanization and cities with independent components, almost none of them have registered a single case in the last 2-4 weeks.)
"Lahat'yan meron, except Batan. Batan lang ang nakapagtala has not had any cases of COVIDs in the last 2-4 weeks," he said.
(All of them have recorded cases except Batan. Batan is the only place where no cases of COVIDs have been reported in the last 2-4 weeks.)
"Yung atin pong policy sa ngayon ay patuloy na no face-to-face classes," he stressed, saying it was a directive from President Rodrigo Duterte.
(Our policy now is not to give face-to-face classes).
He said that if the president decides to allow face-to-face classes, the government should develop guidelines.
First, he said, physical exercise can only be done in areas with minimal risk of education about COVID-19, and health centers in those areas must have sufficient capacity to deal with new infections, especially patients who may need critical treatment.
In the northern province of Batanes, the first case of COVID-19 was reported in September, but there are no more active cases.