FOLLOWING PRESIDENTIAL PROCLAMATION No. 297 s. 2023, San Beda University (SBU) updated the campus’ COVID-19 health protocols through a General Memorandum issued by the Office of the Rector-President last July 27.
As stated in the Proclamation, it acknowledged the country’s “deteriorating number of COVID-19 cases” as seen through the decline in COVID-19 related hospitalizations and intensive care unit admission, as well as the “high levels of immunity to SARS-CoV-2.”
Furthermore, prior to the issuance of Proclamation No. 297, the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and the national Inter-Agency Task Force Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) determined that COVID-19 “no longer constitutes a public health emergency of international concern,” and therefore concurred to the lifting of the State of Public Health Emergency throughout the country.
Taking the Department of Health’s (DOH) Department Circular No. 2023-0324 into close consideration, SBU then enforced the now-moderate health and safety protocols in-campus.
Ms. Chrisadelle Cardenas, the University nurse, acclaimed how the campus is well-prepared with its new health protocols.
“Nakapagpurchase na tayo ng mga medical equipment and materials na kakailanganin for COVID-19 testing,” said Ms. Cardenas.
Under the new protocol, testing outlets are no longer mandatory for the administrators, students, and staff of the campus. Nonetheless, Ms. Cardenas assured that symptoms will be easily identified and acted accordingly through the test kits available in the clinic.
In unfortunate circumstances when COVID-positive Bedans are prescribed for home isolation as announced by the memorandum, the clinical team would nonetheless keep track of the patients’ state via online medical consultations in Microsoft Teams.
“Kung may mga additional symptoms silang nararamdaman at kailangan ng prescription, sinisend namin through Microsoft Teams apps or through San Beda email,” added Ms. Cardenas.
Insofar as academic activities and requirements are concerned, the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Prefect of Student Activities, Prof. Marvin Reyes, Ph.D., reminded all Bedans to communicate with their professors when one’s health is at stake. All excuse letters must be duly signed and endorsed by the CAS Prefect of Discipline, Asst. Prof. Esther Cuaresma.
Amid the leniency of SBU’s health protocols, Dr. Reyes expressed how the campus would nonetheless maintain its current hybrid setup in the conduct of classes and school activities; unless otherwise issued by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
“Ang University naman kikilos lang once that there is already a memorandum coming from CHED. Hindi naman sariling decision ng University” added Dr. Reyes.
In spite of the lifting of the State of Public Health Emergency throughout the country, both Dr. Reyes and Ms. Cardenas continues to remind the Bedan community on being vigilant by wearing safety gears, such as facemasks, whenever possible.
“Sana etong academic year na 2023-2024 ay maging normal na para sa atin, at maging COVID-free year na para sa atin para makamove forward na tayo,” expressed Ms. Cardenas.