Duterte recalls order to bring back face-to-face classes due to new COVID-19 strain

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday, December 26, decided to cancel the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes in January 2021, citing the threat of a new strain of COVID-19.

Duterte recalls order to bring back face-to-face classes

The Department of Education (DepEd) was already preparing for a dry run for schools in areas with low risk of COVID-19 transmission.

“I have allowed kasi the face-to-face classes as a pilot project all over the country. With the new strain, true or not, maybe its true because it’s being validated by Germany, South Africa, UK eh iyong order ko noon kay (Education Secretary Leonor) Briones, I’m calling back the order,” Duterte said in a briefing with the task force.

“I will not allow face-to-face classes for children until we are through with this,” the president added.

On her part, Briones said to implement the President’s instruction to recall limited face-to-face classes.

The new strain of COVID-19 is considered highly contagious.

"Iyan ay variant B117. Bago siyang strain na 52% ang admittance sa UK. At highly transmissible, 50-70%, so ibig sabihin more contagious. Nagcause ng travel ban sa Europe, Canada, sa HK, sa atin dito," public health advocate Dr. Tony Leachon said in an earlier interview on Teleradyo.

— The Summit Express

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