School events canceled due to COVID-19 can proceed next month: DepEd

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 20 2020 07:22 PM

Students wear masks due to a health scare over a new virus that has infected thousands since emerging in China, in a Chinese school in Quezon City, Jan. 28, 2020. Eloisa Lopez, Reuters

MANILA — School events like field trips and the JS prom that were canceled due to concerns over the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can proceed in March with additional precautions, the Department of Education (DepEd) said Thursday. 

All national, regional and off-campus educational activities will be allowed next month as long as public school officials ensure that there are water, soaps, and hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol at schools and offices, said DepEd Undersecretary Alain Pascua, quoting an advisory from his agency. 

Students and school personnel with respiratory illness should be barred from joining the activities or required to wear a face mask, he said.

Private schools are "highly encouraged to adopt the precautionary measures," said Pascua. 

COVID-19 has killed more than 2,100 people and infected over 74,000, mostly in China. 

The Philippines has 3 confirmed cases of the disease, including 1 death, all "imported" from Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the virus was first detected, said the health department. 

Authorities are monitoring around 135 people locally for possible infection while 401 other patients have been discharged after testing negative for the disease, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said Thursday. 

With a report from Jasmin Romero, ABS-CBN News