DOTr Pushes For Shortened Physical Distancing In Public Transport
PHYSICAL DISTANCING – As Metro Manila shifts toward a GCQ, physical distancing inside public transportation was shortened to occupy more passengers.
Naturally, one would think that shortening the distance between people within a confined space could be disastrous amid a pandemic. However, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) emphasized that due to face masks and face shields being mandatory some protocols could be lowered.
According to an article from CNN, physical distancing would gradually be reduced come September 14. This was done in a bid to accommodate more passengers who need to commute.
Previously, there was a one-meter distance between two people that needed to be had as per the recommendation of the World Health Organization. But, starting on September 14, this gap would be shortened to 0.75 meters and 0.5 meters in the next two weeks. Afterward, it would lower down to 0.3 meters in the next 14 days.
Moreover, standing passengers in trains would also be allowed. Still, even with the mandatory face shields and face masks, former COVID-19 task for adviser Dr. Tony Leachon worried about the proposal. As per the article, he said:
This move will need calibrated planning. Pilot studies with monitoring of cases daily. It will need reference models from other countries using this practice. Results should be known.
But, the DOTr emphasized that the EDC coordinated and consulted with health experts before making their proposal. They asserted that the protocols within public transportation like the “no talking policy” would ensure the safety of the public.
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