KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 11 Feb) – At least two major events in Region 12 this month have been cancelled in the wake of the dreaded 2019 novel coronavirus (nCoV) outbreak considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a global health crisis, officials said.
Anton Maganto, spokesperson of the Department of Education in Region 12 (DepEd-12), said Tuesday they trashed the holding of the Soccsksargen Regional Athletic Association meet (SRAA) on February 19 to 23 in compliance with the directive from their national office regarding the nCoV health emergency.
“We are expecting at least 5,000 athletes, coaches and chaperons to participate in the annual meet preparatory to the national Palarong Pambansa,” he said.
The nCoV killed 909 people in China with 40,554 confirmed cases mostly also in China and in 24 other countries, according to WHO’s nCoV Situation Report 21 as of February 10.
Maganto said that another casualty of the nCoV pandemic, which originated in Wuhan in the central Chinese province of Hubei, was the launching of the “Sulong Edukalidad” in the region slated also on February 19, in time for the regional athletic meet opening.
The initiative is in response to the rapidly changing learning environment of present and future learners and will introduce aggressive reforms to globalize the quality of basic education in the Philippines.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones explained that Sulong Edukalidad will have KITE as its four key reform areas: (1) K to 12 Curriculum review and update; (2) Improvement of learning environment (3) Teachers’ upskilling and reskilling; and (4) Engagement of stakeholders for support and collaboration.
Maganto said that both the SRAA and the launching of the Sulong Edukalidad would be held in nearby General Santos City.
Also due to precautions against the nCoV, General Santos Mayor Ronnel Rivera late Monday announced the cancellation of the Kalilangan Festival, save for the wreath laying ceremony at the monument of General Paulino Santos to pay tribute and honor to the city’s glorious past.
The city government allotted at least P8 million for this year’s festival, which will culminate on February 27, the city’s 81st foundation anniversary.
Rivera said the decision to cancel the Kalilangan Festival was done in consultation with the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of Health (DOH).
“Despite these cancellations, we want to assure everyone that the city remains free from the threat of the 2019-nCoV,” he said.
The DOH-12 reported on Sunday its first case of person under investigation (PUI) for nCoV, who was put in isolation at an undisclosed hospital in the region. The Filipino patient travelled from Macau to the Philippines last January 27.
Last week, the GenSan City Health Office reported a person under monitoring (PUM) for nCoV, a Chinese businessman who travelled to Wuhan last month for the Chinese New Year holidays. He was cleared after the required two-week self-quarantine period.
Four Chinese tourists, including a minor, from Fujian province in China are currently undergoing quarantine at the Regional Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center in Alabel town, Sarangani province.
China donated the center. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)