Briones: Schools can hold graduation rites if DOH guidelines strictly implemented

By: Daphne Galvez - Inquirer.net March 11,2020 - 03:39 PM

MANILA, Philippines — Graduating students can still march on their graduation as long as their schools are able to strictly implement the guidelines of the Department of Health (DOH) in combating the spread of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Education Secretary Leonor Briones on Wednesday said that it would up to the school to manage the crowd on students’ graduation rites and they were given a week to finalize their schedules.

“Ang aming guideline is, the school, kung kaya nilang i-implement strictly ang DOH guidelines, eh ‘di magpatuloy sila ng graduation rites,” she said in a press conference.

(Our guideline is the school, if they are able to strictly implement the DOH guidelines, they can push through with their graduation rites.)

“Saka gagawa sila lahat ng paraan para ma-contain ang size ng crowds,” she added.

(They would also be in charge of containing crowds.)

The number of attendees, such as parents or kin of the graduating student, would be depending on the number of students in the school.

Briones said that graduation rites are allowed by the Department of Education (DepEd) because the number of people attending are “focused,” meaning the event does not involve the whole country but one school.

“Ako naniniwala na kayang-kaya i-manage ng mga eskwelahan ang graduation rites kasi focused kasi ito. Hindi naman pinag-uusapan dito ang buong bansa kundi isang eskwelahan,” she said.

(I believe that schools have the capability to manage the graduation rites because the crowd is focused. This is just one school, not the whole country that we’re talking about.)

The public has been advised to skip mass gatherings and avoid crowds due to the threat of the COVID-19.

To date, the Philippines has 33 confirmed cases of COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus that first emerged in China’s city of Wuhan in Hubei province in late 2019.

READ: DOH says number of coronavirus case now 33

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier declared a state of health emergency due to the growing number of cases.

Classes in all levels — both public and private schools — have also been suspended from March 10 to March 14.

The DOH has also raised Code Red Sublevel 1 after it confirmed the country’s first local transmission of the disease.

The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses named the novel coronavirus as SARS-CoV-2.

The virus causes mild symptoms such as fever and cough for most people but can cause serious illness such as pneumonia for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems.

Coronavirus is a family of viruses, which surfaces have a crown-like appearance. The viruses are named for the spikes on their surfaces.

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TAGS: Briones, COVID-19, DepEd, DOH guidelines, garduation rites

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