As graduation season kicks off this month, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has urged the Department of Education’s task force on the novel coronavirus to ensure schools’ strict adherence to health authorities’ safety recommendations on public gatherings.
The chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts, and Culture made this call amid growing global concern on the COVID-19, which has already infected 87,137 people in 59 countries.
The World Health Organization already upgraded its global risk assessment of COVID-19 to “very high,” its top level of risk assessment in terms of spread and impact.
According to Gatchalian, this should prompt DepEd to ensure that protocols are in place before and during graduation and moving-up ceremonies.
Citing WHO’s planning recommendations for mass gatherings, Gatchalian emphasized the importance of the schools’ constant coordination with local health officials, starting with the undertaking of comprehensive risk assessments.
Based on the WHO guidelines, these assessments should guide the formulation of action plans to mitigate identified risks, the handling of which should be clearly delegated to event organizers and local health care providers.