2 UP faculty members under probe for Covid-19

TWO members of the University of the Philippines (UP) faculty have been placed under investigation for coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

UP said in a statement posted on its website that the two faculty members have been considered patients under investigation (PUI) as they showed fever and respiratory symptoms of Covid-19 after attending an academic conference in Japan.

With this, UP has strictly carried out protocols and coordinated with the UP Diliman Health Service (UPHS), a primary hospital on campus.

UPHS Director Jesusa Catabui assured the community that protocols were followed in isolating the patients and disinfecting the premises and the ambulance that was used to carry them to a referral hospital.

UP administrators instructed all constituents who have come into close contact with a confirmed case, or have been exposed to potential infection during travels, to seek consultation with the University Health Service on campus, or at the nearest health facility, and undergo a health assessment before resuming their daily routine.

The UPHS and the Quezon City Epidemiology Surveillance Unit also coordinated the monitoring of the persons with whom the PUIs had been in close contact.

"Buildings that have been visited by the PUIs are now being disinfected," UP said.

On March 9, the UP Diliman administration suspended classes and limited work to a skeletal force on campus until Saturday, March 14, 2020.

It also met with experts from the UPHS and the UP Manila-Philippine General Hospital to come up with specific protocols on travel, events and academic programs, which it released on March 10 to the UP Diliman community.

Among the guidelines agreed are the following:

* Official travel, whether local or international, will be prohibited indefinitely... All members of the community returning from travel overseas will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

* All big events on campus will be called off, until further notice.

* UP is moving towards online platforms in place of conventional classroom delivery.

UP Chancellor Fidel Nemenzo also formed a Covid-19 Task Force, which can be contacted at uhs.updiliman@up.edu.ph (with “Covid-19” as subject), 0947-427-9281 (mobile) or 8981-8500 local 2709, to answer questions and receive relevant information. (LMY/PR)