More than 7,000 delegates possibly exposed to Filipino official with COVID-19 clear quarantine

<i>Photo: ABS-CBN News</i>
Photo: ABS-CBN News

Some 7,074 delegates who were possibly exposed to a COVID-19 positive Department of Education (DepEd) official in events held in Isabela and Cagayan have cleared their two-week quarantine without displaying symptoms related to the coronavirus.

In a statement posted yesterday on its Facebook page, DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said that the delegates who attended the National Festival of Talent (NFOT) and the National Schools Press Conference (NSPC) “have all cleared their precautionary quarantine without any symptoms having developed.” He did not say if the delegates were students or teachers.

It was almost two weeks ago when the DepEd announced that one of its officials tested positive for COVID-19, and that he attended the NFOT and NSPC which were held in Ilagan City, Isabela, and Tuguegarao City, Cagayan respectively. The public was worried that thousands of delegates may have been exposed to the DepEd official during these events, which the DepEd organized despite fears that COVID-19 has already spread throughout Luzon. Media reports have said that at least 8,000 students attended the events.

Read: Education official who attended student events in Isabela and Cagayan contracts COVID-19

The DepEd said last month that it found several persons under investigation (PUIs) among the attendees, but insisted that these delegates were not exposed to the infected official.

Malaluan added that the DepEd continues “to monitor a very small number of delegates still classified as PUIs that are either under observation, treatment or awaiting medical clearance, but we are not informed whether any tests have been conducted [on them].”

“On the whole, it is reasonable to say that we have, overall, cleared the NSPC/NFOT critical monitoring period, and the heightened precautionary measures we have taken during the event, their travel and after arrival from home have yielded the outcomes we wanted to achieve,” DepEd added.

Luzon continues to observe an extended community quarantine set to expire on April 30, as cases in the country continue to increase. As of this morning, the health department has recorded at least 3,764 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 177 deaths and 84 recoveries.


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