Senate adjourns, DepEd officials go on home quarantine

THE Senate adjourned Wednesday, March 11, and Department of Education (DepEd) officials went on home quarantine amid the increasing cases of Covid-19.

In a statement, Majority Leader Juan Miguel F. Zubiri said the early adjournment is part of social distancing measures to prevent the spread of the contagious respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

"We are adjourning during this First Regular Session on the heels of increasing COVID-19 incidents wherein the Senate itself suspended session since Monday evening to Wednesday afternoon and instituted skeletal force schedules in our attempt to prevent further spread of Covid-19 by practicing social distancing as a whole institution,” Zubiri said.

Regular sessions will resume on May 4, 2020.

The DepEd, in a statement issued Thursday, March 12, said Secretary Leonor Briones and other officials and personnel went on home quarantine beginning Thursday, March 12, following confirmation that one of the participants in two meetings that they attended has tested positive for Covid-19.

Briones did not have contact with the patient but decided to undergo self-quarantine as a precautionary measure.

The meetings were held on February 28 at the Mabini Building of the DepEd central office and on March 5 at the Senate for the committee on basic education hearing.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chairman of the committee, earlier announced that he has put himself under home quarantine.

Senator Nancy Binay, who was also in the same hearing, did the same.

“Based on available information, none of the DepEd officials and personnel has exhibited symptoms of respiratory illness or diarrhea,” the agency stated.

“The concerned DepEd officials and personnel will continue to discharge their functions through telecommunication platforms,” the agency added. (MVI/SunStar Philippines)