MANILA — The Department of Health on Monday assured the public that it is coordinating with other agencies to ensure there is adequate water supply in schools and households as the country continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Ang Kagawaran ng Kalusugan ay nakikipagtrabaho sa Department of Education to ensure na kapag nagbukas ang mga paaralan kung saka-sakali ay meron tayong source of water para makapaghugas ng kamay ang ating mga mag-aaral,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a Palace briefing.
(The Department of Health is working with the Department of Education to ensure that in case classes open, we have sources of water so our students can wash their hands.)
Vergeire said this is important especially since frequent handwashing is one of the preventive measures against the spread of the virus.
Classes are set to formally open on Aug. 24, using blended learning system as face-to-face classes are prohibited until a vaccine against the new coronavirus is available.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones has said she would ask permission from President Rodrigo Duterte to allow in-person classes in areas that have no COVID-19 cases, subject to minimum health standards and reduced class sizes.
Meanwhile, asked if the DOH is also monitoring towns and communities without water supply such as Daraga, Albay, Vergeire said, “It’s one of the indicators na ating mino-monotir sa ating environmental sanitation, kung saan tinitingnan natin yung mga household with supply of potable water.”
(It’s one of the indicators that we are monitoring for environmental sanitation, where we look at households with potable water.)
Vergeire said the DOH is also monitoring if the population is able to practice proper hygiene in their respective areas.
The Philippines has logged nearly 26,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, as of June 14, including 5,954 recoveries and 1,088 fatalities.
The country recorded its first case of the disease on Jan. 30 in a Chinese visitor who arrived from the Chinese city of Wuhan where the SARS-CoV-2, the new strain of virus that causes COVID-19, was first detected last year.