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Pediatric expert warns face-to-face classes may result to surge of COVID cases

Gabbie Parlade



A pediatric infectious disease expert on Thursday disclosed that it may not be the right time to allow face-to-face classes especially as the country is preparing for a possible surge of cases after the holiday season.

Dr. Anna Ong-Lim of the Philippine Pediatric Society said that it could add up to the risk factors already being monitored by experts due to a further increase of mobility.

“We’re having a difficult enough time as it is encouraging people to comply so kung isasama pa natin yung pagpasok ng mga bata ngayon…yun lang idagdagdag natin na tao sa community magkakahawaan,” she said.

“So it’s no longer a question of the age group, I think it’s a question of how many people are we allowing to go out,” she added.

Lim said that allowing children to go to school does not only have an impact on the kids but also on the adults that they’ll be interacting with along the way.

In addition, she also initially explained that children may unawarely spread the virus to other members of the family especially as they exhibit only mild symptoms of COVID-19.

This came after President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday approved the provision for a ‘pilot’ implementation of face-to-face classes but only for specific low-risk areas of COVID-19.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. bared that the dry run will happen from Jan. 11 to 23 of next year where after, the findings of the initial implementation will be submitted for review by the President.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III also said that the guidelines for the safety of the students, teachers, and staff will be jointly crafted with them and the Department of Education (DepEd).

At present, classes are still ongoing since it started on Oct. 5 but only through blended learning where some have been experiencing difficulties due to a lack of online resources.