Classes suspended in Ilocos Sur until April 12 due to COVID-19

ILOCOS SUR — The provincial government of Ilocos Sur has suspended classes in all levels of both public and private schools in the province beginning today, March 13 until April 12 as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Governor Ryan Luis Singson issued the Executive Order (EO) No. 12 series of 2020 on March 12 in line with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Proclamation No. 922 declaring the entire nation under State of Public Health Emergency.

EO No. 12 is subject to further guidelines and directives that may be issued by the national government to prevent community transmission, minimize movement of persons/students, and abate the spread of COVID-19.  

Since a COVID-19 transmission was confirmed in the Philippines, the provincial government, in coordination with the Department of Health, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Provincial Health Office (PHO), Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, and other agencies who are members of the Provincial Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases in the province, has been implementing safety and precautionary measures.

Gov. Singson has called on members of the task force multiple times in the past weeks for meetings to provide up-to-date information and measures on how to contain the virus and prevent it from entering the province.

During the emergency meeting last March 10, Gov. Singson announced mandatory home quarantine to all overseas Filipino workers who are planning to come home to the province even if they don’t show any symptoms of the virus.

On March 12, Gov. Singson gathered all the mayors of local government units (LGUs), heads of various national government agencies and representatives from rural health units in the province for the inter-agency coordination meeting to ask for help in containing the virus threat as they are one of the frontliners in helping the provincial government to disseminate factual guidelines and protocol against the virus specially in barangays.

During the said meeting, PHO has reported a total of five persons under investigation in the province, wherein three of them have tested negative of the virus twice and have been sent home last February while the other two are now admitted at Ilocos Sur Provincial Hospital-Gabriela Silang, and 32 persons under monitoring undergoing home quarantine. 

As a result of the meeting, it was determined that there is a need to suspend classes to prevent community transmission, to minimize movement of persons/students and abate the spread of COVID-19, and also the task force has effectively raised Code Alert System for COVID-19 public health event to Code Red Sub Leveled II through the Resolution No. 11, series of 2020, dated March 12.

“If you have concerns or problems, the provincial government along with our task force is ready 24/7 to help. Let us monitor and be vigilant in monitoring accurate information. We are all doing our part to keep the people of Ilocos Sur safe,” Singson said. 

These actions are subject to Pres. Duterte’s order to all LGUs to render full assistance and cooperation, and mobilize the necessary resources to undertake critical, urgent, and appropriate response and measures in a timely manner to eliminate the COVID-19 threat.