Zambo Norte state university mobilizes campuses vs. Covid-19

The Jose Rizal Memorial State University (JRMSU) has mobilized its five campuses throughout the province to help in the fight against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

The new fabrication laboratory (FabLab) of the JRMSU campus here has been producing 3D-printed and laser-cut face shields, which are turned over to the University Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (UDRRM) unit for distribution to hospitals and checkpoints across the province.

“We have just produced almost 500 face shields,” engineer Andrew Gallemit, FabLab head, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Wednesday.

“Hopefully, materials (polystyrene and acetate) from DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) will arrive tomorrow because we’re receiving requests from neighboring provinces. But we still have to focus on Zamboanga del Norte for the moment.”

Although JRMSU’s almost 19,000 students and most faculty members were sent home as the government declared community quarantine last week, Maisalian Julian Acopiado, JRMSU spokesperson, said the skeletal personnel and volunteers in all campuses are doing the work.

The JRMSU has campuses in Dipolog City and Katipunan and Tamplisan municipalities focusing on agricultural programs, while its campus in Siocon town was designed to provide education to Muslim students. It also has an extension program in Sibuco municipality.

“All the FabLab and the UDRRM unit personnel are reporting for work with volunteers. We are also utilizing anything that could be of help,” Acopiado said, adding that it has also allowed the local government to use its old siren to signal the start of curfew hours in this city.

Meanwhile, savings from the university’s income-generating projects are being used to procure rice and other prime commodities to be distributed to recipients, he said.

“The priority recipients are our stranded students, front-liners, and then the low-income families,” Acopiado said.

As the government declared community quarantine last week, most of JRMSU’s students went home while those living in remote areas were brought home using the university’s vehicles.

Others stayed because they live in provinces that also declared a lockdown, while others just wanted to stay.

As physicians warn of the potential collapse of Zamboanga del Norte’s health system with the possible influx of Covid-19 patients, JRMSU officials said they have placed the university’s nurses and nursing students on standby to go to hospital work when the need arises.

“Our university president has organized them into three layers. First are our organic nurses and part-time nurses working as instructors. The second layer are our nursing student interns, and the last are our nursing students who have affiliations to hospitals,” Acopiado said.


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