Duterte calls for class suspension in Metro Manila amid coronavirus scare

By Vince Ferreras, CNN Philippines

President Rodrigo Duterte suspended classes in all levels at Metro Manila starting tomorrow until March 14.

Duterte made the announcement after the interagency meeting on the coronavirus outbreak. Most of the confirmed cases in the country were recorded in the region.

“The reason being that, tignan natin yung incubation period which is not ordinarily like a normal virus 3 or 4 days, ito umaabot ng 14 days. Itong 14 days na ito, one is to keepsafe the children.” said Duterte in a press briefing on late Monday.

[Translation: The reason being that, we will check if the incubation period which lasts 14 days, unlike other viruses which only lasts for three to four days. These 14 days is to keep safe our children.]

He added that the suspension is to gauge whether will it help in containing the virus from further spreading.

“Second, we are going to establish a benchmark kung ilan pa ang madagdag. Kung itong walang klase, would it somehow reduce the number of victims,if we keep our children sequestered at home and study there?,” Duterte said.

[Translation: Second, we are going to establish a benchmark on how many cases will be added. If this class suspension, would somehow reduce the number of victims, if we keep our children sequestered at home and study there?]

Duterte also said that the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Philippine National Police will monitor students outside their homes during the suspension.

“We agreed the DILG and the police will supervise us. So yung nandiyan sa labas, tanungin sila, magdadala ng libro, they will be escorted to their parents.”

[Translation” We agreed the DILG and the police will supervise us. So those who are on the streets, ask them while with their books, they will be escorted to their parents.]

Japan also temporarily shut down elementary and high schools until April amid the coronavirus threat.

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