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Friday, June 12, 2009


The 2009 swine flu outbreak in the Philippines began on May 21, 2009 when a young Filipina girl first contracted the A(H1N1) virus while in the United States. In the following days, several local cases were reported to be caused by contact with two infected Taiwanese women who attended a wedding ceremony in Zambales. The 10-year-old Filipina girl arrived the country on May 18 and was hospitalized the day after at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa City. On May 21, Department of Health (DOH) secretary Francisco Duque confirmed the case being the first Philippine swine flu case.Thermal imaging equipment were installed at major airports to screen passengers coming from infected countries for flu symptoms. The Philippines may quarantine travelers arriving from Mexico with fever. Also, the importation of hogs from the U.S. and Mexico was manned, and the restriction of swine influenza vaccine use was retracted. As of June 10, 2009, there are 77 confirmed cases in the Philippines.

The day after the confirmation of the first case in the country, the Department of Education (DepEd) indicated that classes will continue to start on June 1 as scheduled. In consulting with Secretary Duque, both he and Education Secretary Jesli Lapus reached a decision to go on with the original scheduled date of the opening of classes. Dr. Tayag also said that there is no reason for class suspension unless there is an actual outbreak in the country.
According to DepEd-National Capital Region director Teresita Domalanta, Secretary Lapus has instructed them to order schools to carry out seminars and launch an information campaign about the symptoms and virus prevention among schools.
As of June 6, 2009, because of the said incident, the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) moved the opening of classes for all colleges and universities nationwide from June 8 to June 15, 2009
CHeD Chairman Emmanuel Angeles said that this postponement of classes will enable the students, especially those coming from abroad vacations, ample time to check their health and go on self-quarantine in case of any virus symptoms will exhibit

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