With local transmissions causing the number of confirmed 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the country to rise from 2 to 24 in just a matter of days, President Duterte on Monday night (March 9) ordered the suspension of classes for one week in Metro Manila as a preemptive move.
But Duterte said despite the suspension of classes up to March 14, barangay officials will help ensure chidden will still be studying their lessons as home, as recommended by Education Secretary Leonor Brions.
“The reason being that parang tignan natin yung incubation period which is not ordinarily like a normal virus, 3 or 4, ito umaabot ng 14 days. So itong 14 days na ito, one is to keep safe the children; second is we’re going to establish a benchmark kung ilan pa ang madagdagan. At ngayon kung itong walang klase, would it somehow reduce the number of the victims, if we keep our children sequestered at home and study there,” Duterte said.
Several cities in Metro Manila already had confirmed COVID-19 cases, including San Juan, Quezon City and Taguig.
The President said parents will be lectured “on the responsibilities of being a parent, that the children should study even while they are detained in their respective homes.”
He made the announcement shortly after his meeting with Metro Manila mayors and members of the COVID-19 interagency task force.
But while keeping the children from harm’s way, the President will not be distancing himself from public occasions and would still continue shaking hands with guests and participants of the events he will be attending.
“Trabaho ko ‘yan eh. Puwera na lang kung ‘yung participants nila, matakot,” Duterte said. “No, I will not decline invitations. I will shake hands with everybody. I will go to Mindanao to visit my dead soldiers, if they are still there, and to congratulate my warriors. Namatayan ako ng apat na sundalo.”
He reiterated what he always says that if it is time for him to die, he will have no problem with. “Sinasabi ko sa inyo, na kung tawagin na ako ng Diyos ngayong oras na ito, pupunta na ako. Tapos na ako.”