By KRISTINE ERIKA AGUSTIN and JANIS MOISES
President Rodrigo Duterte has extended the class suspension in all levels in Metro Manila until April 12 in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country.
During an address to the nation on Thursday night, Duterte announced the recommendations of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to prolong the suspension of classes in Metro Manila as cases of COVID-19 rose to 52.
A month-long suspension of classes was adopted as part of the stringent social distancing measures in the National Capital Region.
The task force also said that learners should still comply with their educational requirements and ordered local government units to ensure that students remain at home during the said period.
“[T]ry to avoid people, crowds for your own protection […] better just stay within the premises of the house,” Duterte said as he recommended that students make use of the class suspension as a time to study.
The University of Santo Tomas (UST) on Monday also advised the Thomasian community to maximize the use of the UST Cloud Campus following the announcement of class suspensions.
Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso had earlier announced a six-day class suspension in the capital city from March 10 to 15.
Prohibition of mass gatherings, community quarantine, and flexible work arrangements in the private sector were also included as precautionary measures against the disease.
In addition, Duterte also suspended domestic land, sea, and air travel to and from Metro Manila from March 15 to April 14 to contain the spread of the disease in the country.
Meanwhile, health and emergency frontline services and mass public transportation are expected to continue operations with additional guidelines to ensure social distancing.F