21 private elementary, high schools suspend classes due to A(H1N1) flu scare

June 22, 2009 8:50 am 

MANILA, June 22 – At least 21 private elementary and secondary schools in the country have suspended their classes nationwide due Influenza A (H1N1) scare.

Malacañang, the Department of Education (DepEd) and Department of Health (DoH) bared this during a press briefing on Monday following reports that a 49-year old woman had died due to A(H1N1) flu.

Joining the briefing were Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Undersecretary Lorolei Fajardo, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson for Economic Affairs Gary Olivar, DepEd-School Health and Nutrition director Dr. Minda Meimban, Dr. Juan Araojo, also of the DepEd SHD, and Dr. Yolanda Oliveros, director of the DoH National Center for Disease and Protection (NCDP).

Meimban said that classes at the Sta. Rosa Central School in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, had been suspended since June 18 after six students were suspected to be infected with the novel Influenza A(H1N1)virus.

Classes in Sta. Rosa Central School will resume on June 29, she said.

She said St. Paul's College in Makati City suspended classes for 10 days starting Monday after many of its students exhibited flu-like symptoms.

In Cainta, Rizal, Cainta Mayor Ramon Ilagan and DepEd-Cainta Schools Division Office suspended classes at the Karangalan Elementary school for 10 days starting Monday, after two students, out of 43 suspected cases, were tested positive of the virus.

Claret School in U.P. Village, Diliman, Quezon City also suspended classes in the elementary and secondary levels.

St. Paul University (SPU)in Quezon City also cancelled classes this week.

But Fajardo said they had no exact number of schools in the tertiary level which suspended classes today.

"We’re still awaiting reports from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED),” she said.

But reports reaching Malacañang said two more schools in the college level in Metro Manila have suspended their classes. These are University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Sampaloc, Manila and Adamson University in San Marcelino Street, Ermita, Manila.

Adamson University on Sunday declared suspension of classes for five days due to a confirmed case of influenza A (H1N1).

"Adamson University announces the suspension of classes from June 20-24, 2009 after one student was confirmed positive for A(H1N1) virus," a statement from the school said.

Classes will resume on Thursday, June 25. Raul Agner, director of the university's Institutional Development and External Affairs Office (IDEA), said, clarifying earlier announcement that classes would resume on June 29.

UST officials said they quarantined the St. Martin de Porres Building which houses the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, College of Nursing and the Institute for Physical Therapy after a medicine student tested positive for disease.

In a press statement emailed to PNA, UST Secretary-General Fr. Isidro Abaño, O.P., said the school has cordoned off the Saint Martin de Porres building until June 29. The school said satellite offices of the three colleges would be opened in an adjacent building.

Abaño said UST had started an information drive about Influenza A (H1N1) inside the campus.

San Beda College (SBC) along Mendiola Street, San Miguel, Manila suspended its classes for more than a week since Friday after a student tested positive for influenza A(H1N1) virus, reports reaching Malacañang. Students had been advised to return on June 28. <Reports said the infected SBC student was a male athlete and was staying in one of the campus' dormitories.

In a directive, SBC president Father Mateo de Jesus, OSB, asked professors to keep in touch with their students and continue lessons through the Internet while classes remained suspended.

San Beda became the 20th school in the Philippines with students infected with the new influenza virus, reports said.

Meanwhile, Fajardo asked Filipinos to keep calm after reports reaching Malacañang that a 49-year-old woman from Metro Manila allegedly with Influenza A(H1N1) has died.

”She died of cardiac arrest aggravated by pneumonia but not related to Ah1n1,” Fajardo said. The woman reportedly self-medicated with paracetamol and was not among the over 400 confirmed A(H1N1) patients until Saturday, a day after she died last Friday, when doctors got a swab sample from her throat. (PNA)

RMA/JCA

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