/ 3 December 2021

SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian urged the government to accelerate the vaccination of minors and teachers amid the threat of a new Covid19 variant.

The World Health Organization declared Omicron a variant of concern. So far, more than 50 countries have reported cases of the new variant.

Although experts have yet to learn if the variant is more transmissible and causes more diseases compared to other variants, including Delta, Gatchalian said students and teachers need to be protected.

Health experts have reiterated that vaccination and the implementation of minimum public health standards are key to curb the spread of Omicron.

“Dahil sa banta ng Omicron variant ng Covid19, dapat nating paigtingin ang pagbabakuna sa mga guro at mga kabataan, lalo na’t ngayon pa lang sila unti-unting nakakabalik sa kanilang mga paaralan. Kung mababakunahan natin ang lahat ng mga guro at mga mag-aaral ay mas matitiyak natin ang kanilang kaligtasan at mapapanatili natin ang kanilang kumpiyansa,” Gatchalian said.

The Departments of Health and Education plan to increase the number of schools participating in the pilot implementation of limited face-to-face classes.

The DepEd recently announced that it is eyeing the inclusion of 177 more schools in the pilot implementation of in-person classes.

On December 6, 28 schools in Metro Manila will conduct dry runs as part of the pilot program.

Gatchalian is also pushing for regular Covid19 tests for teachers.

He recalled that two schools in Zambales deferred their participation in limited face-to-face classes after some teachers tested positive for Covid19.