A Catholic bishop in the Philippines expressed support for proposals to hold health and academic breaks in Church-run institutions as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country continued to rise this week.
“I agree with what the school administrators of Catholic schools have done,” said Bishop Elmer Mangalinao, chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education in a radio interview.
The bishop was reacting to reports that several Church-run schools have already declared health and academic breaks due to the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases.
The bishop also supported calls for the vaccination of teachers, students, and their families, and the implementation of strict health protocols to ensure the safety of schools.
Several Catholic schools have already declared the suspension of classes.
The University of Santo Tomas in Manila has earlier announced that it will postpone the start of the second semester from January 18 to 25.
The Philippines on Wednesday, January 12, logged its highest number of active cases so far as 32,246 new COVID-19 cases were recorded by the Health department.
The country’s total case count climbed to 3,058,634, of which 208,164 or 6.8 percent are active infections, according to the Department of Health’s latest case bulletin.
The last time that the number of active cases surpassed 200,000 was on April 17, 2021, when 200,799 active cases were reported, noted the online news site ABS-CBN.
The positivity rate, meanwhile, is at 45.7 percent, based on test results of samples from 63,903 people on January 10, Monday.
The top regions with cases in the recent two weeks were Metro Manila (17,902 cases), Calabarzon (6,838 cases) and Central Luzon (3,268 cases).