COVID-19 outbreaks unavoidable during face-to-face classes — OCTA

By: Jean Mangaluz - @inquirerdotnet - Inquirer.net | August 12,2022 - 12:29 PM
COVID-19 outbreaks unavoidable during face-to-face classes — OCTA: In this file photo are students and teachers at the General Roxas Elementary School in Quezon City conducting a dry run of face-to-face class in this photo taken on February 8, 2022, to familiarize the students on the new rules in the conduct of classroom learning in the time of the pandemic. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

Students and teachers at the General Roxas Elementary School in Quezon City conduct a dry run of face-to-face class in this photo taken on February 8, 2022, to familiarize the students on the new rules in the conduct of classroom learning in the time of the pandemic. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

MANILA, Philippines – With the resumption of face-to-face classes starting soon, independent COVID-19 monitor Octa Research warned that possible COVID-19 outbreaks in schools can’t be avoided.

Octa fellow Dr. Guido David said that schools should have policies in place for COVID-19 and parents should manage their expectations when their children return to school for in-person classes.

“Hindi naman natin maiiwasan na magkaroon ng mga outbreak — di naman siguro surge pero may mga, magkakaroon ng mga outbreak sa schools. Kung may magkakahawaan, it will be expected,” David said when asked over Teleradyo about fears that the return of face-to-face classes could further increase COVID-19 cases.

(We cannot avoid outbreaks, not surge per se but there will be outbreaks in schools. Infections will be expected).

Despite this, David stated that infection among children is unlikely to become severe but it is still possible.

“Karamihan naman ng mga bata kapag nahawaan ay mild o asymptomatic lang naman, kasi malakas naman ang katawan nila. Pero there will be, still a few cases na baka maging severe,” he said.

(Most kids who are infected have mild or asymptomatic cases, since their bodies are healthy. But there might still be severe cases).

David advised schools to take precautions during face-to-face classes, such as vaccinating teachers and ensuring proper ventilation in classrooms.

While the Department of Education (DepEd) has already set guidelines for the return of face-to-face classes through DepEd Order No. 34, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers has criticized them for only listing nine items in its COVID-19 protection guidelines.

READ: Teachers hit DepEd’s ‘recipe for disaster’

“There is no standard for classroom ventilation, aside from opening the doors and windows. There is no requisite for hand washing facilities or steady water supply. The need for a clinic or a nurse is not even mentioned,” ACT said in a previous statement.

The DepEd, however, has already rolled out Brigada Eskwela in preparation for the August 22  opening of classes.

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TAGS: asymptomatic cases, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, COVID-19 outbreak, Department of Education, DepEd, face-to-face classes, in-person classes, Octa fellow Dr. Guido David, OCTA research, proper ventilation in classrooms, vaccinating teachers

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