The Department of Education (DepEd) on Friday said the pilot run of face-to-face (F2F) classes would continue despite the threat of the Omicron Covid-19 variant.

“We cannot wait for Omicron to come in, then we will cancel F2F again,” Education Secretary Leonor Briones said in a press conference.

Omicron, or the B.1.1.529 variant, has been declared a variant of concern by the WHO.

OCTA Research Team fellow Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, O.P. earlier said initial data showed that Omicron was “probably less deadly” than Delta.

“The news so far gives comfort and hope, coming from experts that Omicron may not be as dangerous as the earlier versions. So tuloy pa rin tayo,” Briones said.

The Philippines has yet to detect a local case of Omicron.

The country’s pilot run of limited F2F classes is expected to end this month.

Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan earlier said that the agency had yet to record a positive case since F2F classes restarted.

“Sana ay hindi magbago itong pag-trend ng ating pagmo-monitor. It’s been very positive and we are anticipating a recommendation towards expansion,” he said. John Ezekiel J. Hirro