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Gatchalian urges schools to observe precautionary measures vs coronavirus

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Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Wednesday said schools should be on alert in identifying students displaying flu-like symptoms.

He has urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to ensure that schools have preventive measures to protect students from a new coronavirus strain.

The Coronavirus has already struck 222 individuals in China, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand.

He raised the need for safety measures following an announcement by the Department of Health (DoH) of a suspected case of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in a five-year old boy in Cebu who flew in from Wuhan, China.

The child is currently stable but has shown flu-like symptoms such as cough, throat irritation, and fever. The 2019-nCoV was first detected in Wuhan City on December 31, 2019 and it spreads from humans to humans.

While there are no confirmed cases of the 2019-nCoV in the Philippines to date, Gatchalian said schools should exhaust all measures from information dissemination to intensified sanitary measures to keep students safe, as well as school employees and workers.

“Sa ating pangambang makapasok itong bagong coronavirus sa ating bansa, mabuti nang maging sigurado tayo dahil ang isang kumpirmadong kaso ay maaaring maikalat sa iba,” said Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture.

He also said school officials must emphasize good hygiene to their students such as frequent handwashing, observance of cough etiquette, distancing one’s self from people with respiratory problems, and proper cooking of food, to name a few.

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that result in a range of illnesses from the common cold to more severe diseases, including the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-related Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-related Coronavirus (SARS-CoV).

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