Duque: Task force to discuss telecommute, extension of class suspension in NCR

/ 09:40 AM March 12, 2020

Women wear protective masks as they ride a passenger jeepney in Manila on Tuesday. (AP)

MANILA, Philippines — The inter-agency group handling the coronavirus crisis is set to convene Thursday to discuss if there is a need to suspend classes in Metro Manila for another week and recommend a special work arrangement, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.

“Ngayon nga magko-convene ng inter-agency task force para pag-usapan dahil una ginawa natin, nagsuspinde tayo ng klase sa NCR, ngayon pag-uusapan kung itutuloy pa ba ito another week,” Duque, who heads the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), told Radyo Inquirer.


(The inter-agency task force will convene today to discuss, because we initially suspended classes in the NCR, we will discuss if there’s a need to extend it for another week).

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier announced the suspension of classes in the National Capital Region until March 14.


The possibility of a work-from-home arrangement will also be discussed as the Philippine officials scramble to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease or COVID-19.

“Pag-uusapan din yung work stoppage to resort to a special working arrangement, yung work-from-home,” Duque said.

(We will also talk about a possible work stoppage to resort to special working arrangement, like work-from-home).

The Philippines has so far confirmed 49 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.

“Kailangan pa rin pong magkaisa tayo at unawain po natin yung sitwasyon na ang inyo pong DOH ay ginagawa ang lahat,” Duque said.

(There is a need for unity and understanding of the situation that the DOH is doing everything it can).

He then reminded the public to follow health protocols like frequent hand washing, observing cough etiquette and social distancing, among others.


“Yan pong mga yan ay talagang hindi pwedeng balewalain dahil ito po ang mga subok nang pamamaraan na makakaiwas sa pagkalat ng COVID-19,” he said.

(These should not be ignored because these are time-tested methods that can help prevent the spread of COVID-19).

“Wag na rin masyadong naglalalabas kung hindi naman kailangan. Piliin na lang planuhin ang inyong mga pupuntahan,” Duque said. “At maging mapangalaga sa atin pong katawan at wag aabusuhin dahil ang malakas na katawan, magaling na panlaban sa mga mikrobyo.”

(Avoid going out if it’s not necessary. Choose and plan your itinerary… And take care of your body and don’t take your health for granted because a healthy body can really shield you from microbes).

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

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TAGS: class suspensions, coronavirus disease, COVID-19, Department of Health, DoH, Nation, news
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