Face-to-face classes rejected anew, high risk to teachers, students cited

President Rodrigo Duterte has rejected a pilot test for face-to-face classes as the country has yet to roll out its COVID-19 vaccination program, Malacañang said Monday.

The Education Department had backed a proposal for a dry run of in-person classes in areas with low-risk of COVID-19 transmission.

“Our President has decided, we will still have no face-to-face classes in the country,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in Filipino.

He added that the President does not want to put the lives of students or teachers at risk while there is still no vaccine.

DOH to send mutant data to WHO

The Department of Health (DOH) will submit its data on the two newly detected mutations of coronavirus in the country to the World Health Organization (WHO) for further study, Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said on Monday.

Vergeire, in an interview on GMA News’ Unang Balita, said their data on mutations E484K and N501Y in SARS-CoV-2 virus will also be forwarded to Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GSAID).

Earlier, DOH Region 7 announced that the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) detected two coronavirus “mutations of concern” in samples from Cebu.

DOH 7 spokesperson Dr. Mary Jean Loreche said 37 of 50 samples sequenced by the PGC showed the mutations E484K and N501Y in SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the COVID-19.

She added that 29 out of the 50 samples had a co-occurrence of the both mutations.

Long-term effects of COVID-19 eyed

The Department of Health (DOH) is looking into reports of long-term effects from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which could be caused by the immune system going on overdrive.

Dr. Eric Tayag, director of the Health Department’s Knowledge Management and Information Technology Service, said there may be cases in which individuals experience the effects of the disease months after being diagnosed.

“As we try to review the data that’s available, it’s about the response (of our) immune system. (Our) immune system (sometimes overdrives), because of this overdrive, it gives us the complications,” he said in a report on GMA’s “24 Oras Weekend.”

Among the reported long-term effects of COVID-19 are tiredness, brain fog, depression, muscle pain, cough, and headaches. -- Willie Casas

Most nurses want the jab

Majority of nurses surveyed by Filipino Nurses United (FNU) were willing to get vaccinated against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In a week-long survey, FNU said 494 out of its 646 nurse respondents were willing to be inoculated.

A total of 37 nurses said they did not want to get vaccinated mainly due to concerns over the vaccine’s side effects, while the remaining 115 nurses were still undecided.

“The survey findings show that nurses are willing to be vaccinated if there is full guarantee for their safety so that they can still continue serving and caring for their patients,” the FNU said.

Central Visayas DOH gets deadline

The Department of Health (DOH) Region 7 has until Friday to assess the effects of its strengthened testing, isolation, and tracing efforts on the transmission of COVID-19, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said on Monday.

Duque said the region’s daily attack rate and two-week growth rate need to decrease to prove that the strengthened measures worked against COVID-19.

The healthcare utilization rate of Central Visayas currently stands in the low-risk classification at 48 percent, he added.

Last week, DOH Central Visayas Director Jaime Bernadas said local government units agreed to intensify containment and contact tracing efforts as well as expand the health system capacity following the detection of two coronavirus mutations. 

Topics: Rodrigo Duterte , COVID-19 , vaccination program , Department of Health
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