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Commuters, Boost Your COVID Defense with These Tips from Frontliners

Easing physical distancing for commuters may be too early, frontliners say.
by Joel Guinto
5 days ago
Photo/s: Jerome Ascano
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The space between commuters in public transport will be reduced starting Monday, which is "too early," according to a group of medical frontliners who called for a timeout last month. As they hold dialogues with transport authorities, they also advised the public on how they could stay safe when riding buses and trains.

"Pag titingnan natin ang curve ng pandemic na ito, masyadong maaga pa. Malamang na dumami lalo ang kaso at bumagal ang recovery natin kung gagawin natin ito," said Dr. Tony Dans of the Healthcare Professionals Alliance Against COVID-19.

Dans said commuters could stay safe by observing the following, according to Dans:

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  • If you're feeling sick, stay at home. Isolate yourself
  • Wear a face shied and a face mask.
  • Wash your hands 
  • If the train or bus is not packed, continue observing a one-meter distance from other commuters. If possible, stay farther away.
  • If you must cough or sneeze, cover your mouth with the back of your elbows, not your palms.
  • If you really have to go out of the house and take public transport, avoid the rush hour. Pick dead hours.
  • Don't talk. Don't sing inside public transport.
  • If you can, open the window.

WHAT WENT BEFORE:
Back to MECQ for Metro Manila as Duterte Heeds Frontliners' Call 
Frontliners Seeking 'Timeout' Await Duterte Move on COVID-19 Strategy 

The call of the doctors, nurses and medical workers in early August led to the restoration of MECQ or strict quarantine for 15 days in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces, affecting some 23 million people.

Government heard the frontliners' call and are regularly coordinatign with HPAAC, Dans said. "Madaming magandang nangyari. Madaming good news."

Addressing the public, Dans said those who have COVID-19 symptoms such as cough and colds should stay at home. "Kayo po ang first line of defense labana sa pandemic na to, kayo ang tunay na frontliner."

The MECQ was downgraded to a GCQ on Aug. 19, which was recently extended until Sept. 30. Officials credited the MECQ for the slowdown in infections. For the first time since quarantines were imposed last March, the Philippines is on track to flatten the curve.

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