DepEd: Over 17,000 public school classrooms available as COVID quarantine facilities
MANILA, Philippines — More than 17,000 public school classrooms in Metro Manila can be used as isolation or quarantine facilities for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients, the Department of Education (DepEd) said Thursday.
Malacañang earlier confirmed that 50 percent of Metro Manila’s public schools will be converted to temporary quarantine facilities.
“This can translate to 17,910 classrooms. Kung isama natin ang mga private schools, na nandito rin sa NCR [National Capital Region] at kung papayag sila, ay lalong lalaki itong numerong ito,” DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones said in an online Palace briefing.
(This can translate to 17,910 classrooms. If private schools will allow the usage of their classrooms, the number will still increase.)
Briones said the education department is coordinating with the Department of Health on the number of health workers to be deployed in the classrooms which will be transformed into quarantine facilities.
“We’re now working out the numbers with the Department of Health para ma-correlate naman sa kanilang capacity dahil kung may quarantine centers, kailangan naman na may magbabantay na galing sa Department of Health at saka magmomonitor,” Briones said.
(We’re now working out the numbers with the Department of Health so we can correlate their capacity because if there are quarantine centers, these should be manned by DOH personnel.)
Classes in public schools will start on August 24 through blended learning or the use of modules, radio, television, and internet as media of instruction.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said face-to-face classes will only be allowed by January next year in areas with minimal cases of COVID-19.
The Philippines has so far recorded 143,749 COVID-19 cases nationwide, including 68,997 recoveries, and 2,404 deaths.
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