Metro Manila schools tell students, staff back from foreign trips: Quarantine

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Metro Manila (CNN Philipines, February 1) – Several schools in Metro Manila have taken precautionary steps to minimize exposure to and transmission of viral illnesses following the confirmation from authorities that the contagious and deadly novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV has reached the Philippines.

All faculty and students of the Ateneo de Manila University who have been to China are required to go on a two-week self-quarantine upon their return.

Ateneo university President Jose Ramon Villarin said in a memorandum on Friday that those who must undergo self-quarantine will be excused from classes and allowed to make up for their absences provided that they present medical certificates.

He also urged AdMU members not to travel to China for now, which has been hardest hit by the 2019-nCoV. The virus has already killed hundreds of people and sickened thousands in mainland China.

Meanwhile, the De La Salle University in Manila said it has implemented a "complete travel ban on administrators, faculty, and staff to China until the 2019-nCoV crisis is over."

Polytechnic University of the Philippines and Far Eastern University in Manila and Makati City said Friday that all of their students and staff who have arrived from travel abroad must stay at home and do a self-quarantine.

"Special class attendance policy will be arranged for faculty and students through the Academic Affairs Office while employees will have a special leave," FEU said in a Facebook post.

In a Friday memorandum, Adamson University President Fr. Marcelo Manimtim has also advised its Chinese students to put themselves on quarantine from January 31 until February 14. He said that the recommendation was based on the school management’s decision. Meanwhile, all local and other international students will continue to have their regular classes.

Manimtim then urged all Chinese nationals to postpone their scheduled transactions in the university until February 14 as well.

A day after incurring the ire of people online for issuing a memorandum, which singled out Chinese students, the president issued an addendum. Manimtim said that the self-quarantine advisory shall include all staff, students and stakeholders who have travel history to countries with confirmed cases of the 2019-nCoV within the last month.

He added that Chinese students and guests who are not limited by the conditions set in the self-quarantine advisory are allowed to come to school.

Members of the San Beda College Alabang, meanwhile, are mandated to wear a face mask starting Saturday, February 1.

As of Friday, the Health Department said the 2019-nCoV case here remains at one -- a 38-year-old woman from Wuhan, China -- the epicenter of 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease outbreak.

The Department of Health said that 31 patients remain under investigation for suspected infection caused by the 2019-nCoV in the country.