For the time being, Agape Christian School has stopped accepting boarding school students from China in the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
According to ACS Pastor Kok H. Pang, they recently approved three Chinese students from China for their boarding school program but, due to the recent threat of 2019-nCoV, and the directive from Gov. Ralph DLG Torres seeking to cancel all inbounds flights from China, he decided to cancel their arrival.
“We have three recently approved [students] but we told the parents and the student not to come in, especially after the governor’s [directive],” he said.
However, once the threat of the virus dies down, Pang said he will allow the approved students to come and join the boarding school program but they will be kept in isolation for approximately two weeks.
“We have planned for when they come. We have an apartment for them to isolate them, and whoever comes with the student. They will stay there for more than two weeks until its clear,” he said.
Pang said about 70% of ACS’ student body is from its boarding school program, with about 102 boarding school students currently enrolled. Pang added that ACS usually receives 20 to 30 boarding school program students every year.
ACS has a total of about 140 students.
Pang said the last batch of boarding school students from China came in around December last year but ACS is not worried that these students could have carried the virus into the CNMI because its been over a month and they have not shown any symptoms.
“We’re not worried. So far, they’ve already been here more than two weeks. According to [information] about this coronavirus, it can be in the body for two weeks, then it comes out. So far, they have been here more than 30 days or even more,” he said.
Pang said they still take safety measures because of the severity of the viral infection, going as far as not allowing boarding school program students to leave their apartments.
“We don’t allow them to go [out] even to nearby shops. We don’t allow them to be with anyone outside too, especially tourists, so they stay in here. Whatever they need, we have teachers and staff get it for them. So far, we have had no problems,” he said.
Pang said ACS has also taken precautionary measures for their local students by issuing face masks everyday before class, putting hand sanitizers in each classroom, encouraging handwashing, and encouraging students to stay home if they have a cough or are sneezing.