Friday, March 13, 2020

Provincial Government of Isabela earlier this morning (March 13) declared state of calamity in the province. As response, Isabela State University enforces extensive health guidelines and protocols in mitigating COVID 19 cases.

University President Dr. Ricmar Aquino called for an emergency meeting with the campus executives and administrators to discuss guidelines of operation and preparation of every campus.

The guidelines were directives from the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), in connection with the resolution issued by the national government’s Interagency Task Force on managing COVID-19 outbreak.

These after World Health Organization declared then Wuhan spawned virus as “pandemic” on Wednesday (March 11). Code Red sub level 2 was also raised yesterday after Malacañan pronounced “community quarantine” as health measure to contain COVID-19 spread.

ISU preparedness initiatives

University health task force was formed to centralize efforts of health management. The task force is composed of the University Health Services joined by Nursing staff from Echague and Ilagan, together with the Security force of the University.

The University is also in close coordination with hospitals around the province as part of strengthening health response operations.

President Aquino ordered to mobilize with precaution to assure both internal and external health securities of the University. This after concerns on students being deployed for internship in areas affected by COVID-19.

Dr. Aquino orders to recall all students under internship, and subject them for extensive check-up and monitoring to assure their well-being. University vehicles were sent to fetch the students.

For students engaged internship and student-exchange abroad, the President instructs coordinators to transact with the immediate company and concerned embassy.

In internal preparations, a proposed 24-hour University vehicle for every campus will be on stand-by should an immediate emergency occurs. The detection of symptom will be backed-up by thermal scanners, which were already purchased by the University.

No ambulant vendors policy is also being raised.

Academic and Office operations

To ensure safety of students, faculty, and office personnel, the University is working on guidelines for alternative learning platform, together with the adaption of flexi-work schedule by the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

Temporary class suspension for 2 weeks is being eyed, but would be in the online nature. The committee agreed for faculty members to have digital learning schemes for lecture deliveries.

Meanwhile, the University is set to adopt 4-day work schedule by the CSC. However, there will be an additional 2 hours to the regular 8-hour office time. This is to meet the 40-hours per week compromise to ensure continuous service delivery of government offices.