A lawmaker at the House of Representatives on Wednesday proposed the use of classrooms as quarantine facilities for asymptomatic and mild coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients to prevent the further spread of the virus.
Marikina Rep. Bayani Fernando said that only confirmed asymptomatic patients and mild cases will be quarantined in classrooms while the critical cases will be treated in hospitals.
“I am proposing that asymptomatic individuals be quarantined in classrooms and the ratio would be 1:1 or one classroom, one Covid-19 positive person. In this way we can prevent further transmission,” Fernando said.
Fernando cited a recent study by South Korean epidemiologists showing that people were more likely to contract the coronavirus disease from members of their own households than from contacts outside home.
He noted that the standard 63 square-meter classrooms may have better ventilation, lighting, and other amenities compared to many households.
“We have around one million classrooms across the country and these are located in the communities. I believe that most of our classrooms are equipped with electric fans especially in cities where Covid is prevalent,” he said.
He said the government can issue a notice to school administrators and teachers that their classrooms would be used as quarantine facilities, while ensuring that these classrooms will be thoroughly disinfected after the pandemic.
He added that financial assistance to teachers can also be provided for the restoration of their classrooms.
“Utilizing classrooms as quarantine facilities should be a priority especially so that face-to-face learning is not practical at this time. In fact, the President mentioned in his SONA (State of the Nation Address) that he will not allow face-to-face learning until the risk of exposure is eliminated,” Fernando said.
National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 deputy chief implementer Secretary Vivencio Dizon earlier bared that they have booked an additional 2,000 hotel rooms to accommodate asymptomatic and mild Covid-19 patients. (PNA)