The outbreak of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov) and the deaths it caused have created scare and misinterpretation to the public, especially to people who lack knowledge about the epidemic.

A Students’ Forum on 2019-nCov was held in Cebu Normal University (CNU) to create awareness about the feared virus last Friday, February 8 at the Samuel McClintock (SM) Hall.  

The forum was incorporated in the National Service Training Program (NSTP) class of 1st year students. There are two sessions of the forum. The morning session was attended by College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and College of Nursing (CN) students, while the afternoon session was attended by College of Teacher Education (CTE) students.

The Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) initiated the event and was organized by CN in collaboration with the Health Services Office, and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO).    

An overview of nCov, its signs and symptoms, prevention, assumptions, and frequently asked questions (FAQs) was discussed by Dr. Marnie Salve, University Physician, and Ms. Ma. Mayla Imelda Lapa with her expertise in Microbiology. An open forum also took place afterwards to further answer the concerns of the students.  

Dr. Daisy Palompon, VPAA, said that the essence of the awareness campaign is to let the students understand what nCov is; its nature and infectious process to avoid and prevent the spread of infection, and for the students to be bearers of right information.

Palompon said that what is spreading now other than nCov itself is the upsurge of misinformation about nCov that creates misinterpretation.    

“The problem that we need to cure at this time is basically that problem related to the spread of misinformation, so the treatment that we provide for CNU students or for the CNU community is the information campaign so that we will not be any more contributing to that spread of misinformation or ‘infodemics’,” Palompon said.

She also said that having the right knowledge “can help us control our reaction or behavior towards the essence of racism” with existing cases to persons with chinky eyes who are being associated to the virus “which is clearly a violation of human rights,” Palompon said.

“There is no official confirmed case of nCov in our campus – in our community, and there is no person under investigation,” Salve said. (JDF)