Chancellor Fidel R. Nemenzo’s Message to the UPD Community

6 August 2020


Dear UP Diliman Community Members,

Our health care workers (HCWs) have spoken. As we enter an even more dangerous phase of the pandemic, they have appealed for a “time-out” — to give our health care system a breather and allow our HCWs to regain their strength. An urgent task during this time-out is to assess and recalibrate national and local responses to the pandemic.

Reflecting what is happening at the national level, UP Diliman (UPD) has also seen an increase in COVID-19 cases. As of August 6, 2020, a total of 55 active cases has been reported among our constituents and in our community. These cases include faculty, staff, students, and barangay residents, who are closely monitored by the UP Health Service – Public Health Unit (UPHS-PHU) and the UPD COVID-19 Task Force.

This brings to 139 the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases of UPD covering the period March 16 to August 6. This number includes those living on campus and outside the campus. Of this cumulative total, 77 have already recovered, while seven (7) deaths have been reported since March.

This is a worrying trend. While we have put in place measures to prevent the spread of the virus in the workplace and in the community, the challenges continue. We have analyzed data from our contact tracing and they revealed a new pattern of transmission: clustering of cases within households. This means that once a household member gets sick, it is easy for the rest of the household to get infected.

In response to this situation and the appeal of our HCWs, the UPD COVID-19 Task Force will use this two-week modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) to review, recalibrate and intensify our strategic response to the pandemic. As part of this recalibration, the Silungang Molave isolation facility is expected to open by mid-August. Targeted testing of employees will also be conducted in the coming weeks. Our capacity for contact tracing will be enhanced and reinforced. To build community resilience and solidarity, we are taking steps to strengthen our community engagement. We are intensifying our public information campaign and mobilizing more local volunteers. To systematize our data collection and analysis, we plan to build a public health data/information system with the help of our scientists and IT experts.

The UP Health Service, the UP Diliman COVID-19 Task Force and our barangay health workers are working to keep our community safe. But, we need everyone’s help and cooperation.

Each one of us can help. We reiterate:

Stay at home unless essential travel is needed.

Avoid crowded places.
Wear face masks and face shields properly and consistently.

Practice physical distancing even at home. Keep a distance of at least one meter from the next person.

Wash hands frequently and for at least 20 seconds.

The first line of defense is our self.


Fidel R. Nemenzo
Chancellor, UP Diliman


(Constituents and Barangay Residents)

As of August 6, 2020



March 16 – August 6, 2020