By Ma. Teresa Montemayor
(PNA photo by Oliver Marquez)
MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) has logged 3,939 Covid-19 cases among children ages 12 to 17 years old from Sept. 1 to Nov. 3 following the implementation of face-to-face classes.
In a media briefing Friday, DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said they are still coordinating with the Department of Education (DepEd) for the official report regarding the number of recorded infections in schools.
“We have our own report kung saan doon sa report natin, hindi nanggaling ‘yan sa eskwelahan, iniisa-isa namin ‘yan (it is not from the schools, we go through it one by one) from our complete list of surveillance report,” she said.
No severe cases and deaths were indicated in the overall tally of Covid-19 infections for the age group.
Vergeire said the cases should not be an impediment to the full implementation of face-to-face classes.
“’Yung benepisyo na mabibigay ng (The benefits of) face-to-face classes would outweigh the number of mild infections that have been experienced by our students [learners] during these past months that we have opened up schools,” she added.
She also noted that physical classes are essential for the mental health and wellness of the learners.
The DOH, through the Healthy Learning Institution Program, has integrated the Covid-19 vaccination and pandemic response in other public health programs.
The DepEd is provided links with the health facilities in the DOH’s network through the program.
“Kung hindi pa kaya ng eskwelahan na magkaroon ng sariling klinika na may doctor at nurse they are linked to their rural health units, para anytime na magkakaroon ng maysakit doon sa classroom immediately napu-pull out at naidadala natin sa (If the school does not have a clinic with a doctor and a nurse, they are linked to their rural health units so anytime a student is sick, they can immediately pull out and bring the sick to the) health center for management,” Vergeire said.
The DOH has also assigned surveillance or safety officers in schools to monitor learners with symptoms and to facilitate the referral of such students to health centers. (PNA)