Lawmaker asks DOH to deploy HCW in schools in upcoming f2f classes

Barangay Health Workers (BHW) Rep. Angelica Natasha Co has urged the Department of Health (DoH), along with local chief executives and barangay chairpersons, to deploy healthcare front liners in schools as face-to-face classes will resume in November.,Co underscored that barangay health workers should help school principals protect students and teachers from the many health risks. However, as this would be an additional responsibility, she proposed that the DoH should give them an additional honorarium or stipend for their deployment there for a short duration.,“Schools and barangays will have to work together more now. Some kids going back to school would probably have difficulties involving social skills, mental health, undernourishment, and lacking mandatory vaccines, on top of learning deficiencies because of two years of the pandemic,” the lawmaker stressed.,She reasoned that the Covid response at this time should have more emphasis on all the schools and campus communities because classes are resuming with face-to-face contact.,“Best defense would be primary doses and booster shots. The goal should be all students vaxxed and boosted,” Co said.,She suggested removing all the plastic barriers as they impede ventilation and circulation of fresh air. Instead, open classroom windows and pull all the curtains restricting airflow.,Meanwhile, teachers and other personnel who are not vaxxed but required to report for work could have movements limited to a separate building on campus. They could also have fewer work days on campus and more work at home.,Co urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to be transparent on the vax status of their personnel and students per school. She proposed weekly public reporting from each school principal to the DepEd central office.,Meanwhile, students with Covid or other contagious disease symptoms should be isolated and sent home.,The lawmakers stressed that Covid is not the only contagious disease to worry about now.,“There’s measles, flu, mumps, sore eyes, and respiratory illness, among others. Remember, most kids have not mingled with other kids, not the relatives or immediate neighbors. The threat of infection is higher now, not only with Covid but also with mumps and measles. There’s also dengue, leptospirosis, and other rainy season sicknesses,” she counted.,She also recommended that anti-Covid measures be implemented on public transportation and that trike drivers be vaxxed and boosted.