All regional and national activities for the month of February 2020 will be postponed according to the Department of Education (DepEd). This is inclined to the preventive spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. Negros Oriental Provincial Governor Roel Degamo signed Executive Order No. 4-B Series of 2020 that suspends all classes due to the onslaught of the Novel Coronavirus.
Suspended Schools in Negros Oriental
The Governor of Negros Oriental declared a three-day suspension (from February 5-7, 2020 Wed-Fri) for all Preschool, elementary, high school and tertiary levels in all public schools in the province. Private schools such as Silliman University also suspended the classes in all levels including the college level. The Executive Order was signed yesterday February 04, 2020, in Dumaguete City.
The Department of Education also set out a memorandum, stating that they “highly discouraged” activities at the division or district level which would involve the gathering of participants from various schools. The suspension and postponing are all safety measures for the said Novel Coronavirus.
The first case on Novel Coronavirus in Dumaguete & Negros Oriental
On January 30, 2020, the first case of positive Novel Coronavirus was detected in the Philippines. Two Chinese couple was traveling from Hong Kong to Cebu, then Dumaguete City to Manila. The woman was detected and confirmed with a virus upon reaching Manila. A few days after that, the male patient died. The hotel in Dumaguete City and the resort in Negros Oriental are now under self-quarantine. A mandatory 14 Days Quarantine for All Foreigners from Hong Kong & China was also ordered by the provincial governor of Negros Oriental.
Novel Coronavirus – FAQ
What is the Novel Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are known to cause illness ranging from coughs, common colds to more severe diseases. The virus consists of a genetic material surrounded by envelopes with protein spikes. The spikes give the virus the appearance of a crown. The word crown in Latin is “corona”, hence, the Coronavirus.
It all started when several cases of pneumonia were reported from China back in December 2019. There are still a lot of factors that has not yet been discovered about this virus, however, further studies are being conducted.
What are the Symptoms and Signs of 2019 nCoV?
The symptoms of the virus can range from mild to severe. Mild signs include fever, coughing, colds, and shortness of breath. In more severe cases the virus can cause pneumonia, kidney failure, organ failure, and death.
Where does the 2019 Novel Coronavirus come from?
Like most coronaviruses, the 2019 nCoV is transmitted from animals to humans and humans to humans. 70-80% of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases are known to be of zoonotic origin. The SARS-CoV back in the year 2002 was mainly transmitted in China through civet cats. While the MERS-CoV were transmitted in Saudi Arabia mostly though dromedary camels. Therefore, people in close contact with animals (live animal market workers) and health care workers (family members and hospital staff) are more at risk to get infected.
How to Protect Myself from Infection?
Basic hygiene should always be followed to avoid the risk of infection.
- Always wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a medical mask, tissue, sleeves or flexed elbow when coughing & sneezing.
- Avoid contact as much as possible to anyone who is infected with the virus.
- Cook your food thoroughly (especially meat).
- When visiting live markets, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals.
- Face masks and gloves are recommended in areas that may carry a higher risk of infection such as hospitals and big crowds.
How to wear a face mask properly?
There are many types of masks for different types of occasions. A surgical mask is one of the best ways to increase the spread of infection and prevent from getting infected. There is only one correct way to wear it. The blue side is a liquid repellant to keep fluids from leaking through into your nasal cavity. It is worn on the outside. If it’s a standard 3 ply mask both outer and inner layers do not filter any bacteria. The filtration is done in the center layer of the mask. The white side is designed to absorb exhaled fluids that would otherwise collect on the mask and decrease its effectiveness and to increase comfort.
What to do when you think you are infected?
If you think you are showing any symptoms of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, you can take a test called PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction). The test will identify the virus based on its genetic fingerprint. There are no treatment nor vaccines available now. However, studies are ongoing to hopefully create a cure for the said virus. For more information, check the official World Health Organization website.
If you are showing any signs of symptoms, minimize contact with family and friends to avoid cross-infection, and seek immediate medical attention and help.