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PIA Press Release

DOH, Deped revise guidelines for suspending classes, work for A(H1N1) alert

Manila (26 June) -- The Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Education (Deped) on Thursday issued the revised rules for the suspension of classes or offices that have influenza A(H1N1) alert.

The agencies said this will prevent the practice of schools and offices who suspend their operations even when their students or personnel are not even infected with the A(H1N1) virus.

The DOH said under the revised guidelines, classes will no longer be called off should new cases be reported in the same schools.

The DOH and Deped also revised the alert system on schools.Whereas now under the new Alert Level Response 3, classes will only be called off for ten days after the first confirmed case is reported, to assess the medical situation of the patient and those in close contact with the patient.

The new guidelines said the suspension of classes will also be done to enhance the campaign for cleanliness, hygiene and readiness in the school, and to disinfect the school. Subsequent cases in the same school will only be made to go home, along those in direct contact with them, for medical observation at home or in a medical facility.

The DOH said only high-risk cases, such as those with chronic illnesses before contracting the A(H1N1) virus infection, will be hospitalized.

Based on the revised Alert Level Response 4, classes will no longer be suspended in schools in communities with a low-level community outbreak.

The DOH and Deped said it would be pointless to cancel classes in areas where students would be going home to a community already beset with many A(H1N1) cases.

The agencies said classes will go on communities with presence of A(H1N1) cases and only hose who are sick and those suspected to have close contact with positive cases will be subjected to stay at home.

The guidelines also said for schools with many buildings or large campuses, classes will only be called off in units or buildings where the patient stayed.

Authorities said the new guidelines is in line with the government's campaign against the disease which now focuses on mitigation strategy and not containment.

There are now 42 schools that have suspended classes due to the spread of the illness. (PNA) [top]

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