UP Experts: Class suspensions until December can flatten COVID-19 curve

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MANILA, Philippines – In a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte, University of the Philippines (UP) experts discussed the viability of class suspensions until December in order to cease community transmissions of the novel coronavirus.

Aiding the president make a decision on the fate of the enhanced community quarantine, Dr. Mahay Lagmay shed light on the said information after looking into trends analyses that academics from the UP Systems.

In a Tuesday briefing at the Malacanan Palace, Lagmay recommended that the government must cease classroom-based lectures until the end of 2020.

He presented that based on their models, the temporary class suspensions until December will be a big help in decreasing the overall transmission of the virus because students comprise of 56% of total interactions.

Based on the report of the UP resilience institute, the <19-year-old demographic, who are students, are the ones who make up more than half of the total interaction among Filipinos, making them more susceptible to become human hosts infecting elders.

As studies have shown, the elderly or those suffering from terminal diseases are the most vulnerable to the deadly COVID-19.

READ: DepEd: Graduation rites postponed, not cancelled

DepEd yet to decide

Returning Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque earlier mentioned that there are suggestions to include the college bracket in this academic shutdown.

However, opposition arose claiming that this would just amputate manpower among front-liners because there would be no new medical practitioners.

Even with such suggestions, Roque clarified that the president has not ruled on the said issue yet.

Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones, however, told CNN Philippines, that her agency is considering the possibility of opening classes by August.

To augment the lost class days, Briones said that schools may compel the students to take Saturday “stay-at-home” classes.

Prior to this heightened COVID-19 incidence in the Philippines, DepEd has postponed graduation rites for institutions covered. The said department waived final examinations for state-funded secondary and primary education.

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