MANILA—The Philippine health chief on Saturday said he doesn't recommend local governments to suspend classes, amid the country's Code Red alert status due to the rise of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.
"Hindi muna dapat siguro ginawa iyon. But that's their decision, being independent or being covered under the local government code, that's their own decision. But, as of today, we are on sublevel 1 of Code Red and that is not being recommended," Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.
Earlier in the day, Navotas declared class suspensions for Monday, hours after the health department raised Code Red Sub-Level 1 in the Philippines as it confirmed its sixth coronavirus case. Duque also confirmed the country's first case of local transmission, a 62-year-old man suffering from severe pneumonia.
The Rizal towns of Cainta and Taytay followed shortly after, over fears of possible spread of the virus in their areas.
A Code Red alert means all hospital personnel are required to report for duty in their respective facilities to provide medical services. —With a report from Raphael Bosano, ABS-CBN News