If you’re of the mindset that it’s safe enough to eat out despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Health (DOH) has a recommendation: Eat outdoors.
During this morning’s Laging Handa public briefing, DOH undersecretary Maria Singh-Vergeire said that her agency is suggesting restaurants should re-open in an open-air setting to reduce the chance of diners catching COVID-19.
“Yung po artikulo na ‘yan lumabas nitong mga nakaraang araw na sinasabi nga ng mga eksperto daw na airborne na,” the official said, referring to recent reports that the COVID-19 virus may now be airborne.
“Pero ang WHO [World Health Organization] naman nagpalabas din, and even our experts are saying it can be airborne in specific settings, katulad po na alam naman natin pag sa hospital kaya nga po complete PPE [personal protective equipment] ang healthcare workers pag diyan because there are aerosol-producing equipment diyan.”
According to Singh-Vergeire, one such setting wherein the virus can be airborne is enclosed spaces.
“So diyan po ang sinasabi nila na maaari po maging airborne ‘yan dahil closed yung setting natin,” she said.
“Kaya nga tayo ay nagkakaroon ng rekomendasyon na sana kung magkakaroon ng pagbubukas ng ibang sector, katulad ng mga restaurants, it should be in open air para po hindi nagkakaroon ng mga ganitong instances.”
The recommendation makes sense, but many establishments—specifically those situated inside malls or buildings without provisions for an outdoor setup—may not have the option to move their operations to an open-air setting. Will you be taking this into consideration next time you dine out?