There should be no talking, no eating and no mobile phone use when riding public transport, the chief implementer of the government's COVID-19 response said Monday in defense of eased physical distancing rules which is being done with risk management in mind.
The Inter-Agency Task Force will meet Tuesday to discuss arguments for and against the reduction of the minimum one meter distance between commuters. President Rodrigo Duterte told his Cabinet to give him a visual of their recommendations.
"It's a matter of risk management," said Sec. Carlito Galvez. "Ang importante, no talking, no droplet, no using of cellphone."
"Transport is a vehicle for recovery. Kung wala yung vehicles, at yung tinatawag po natin na transportation we cannot recover," he said.
Air-conditioned private cars are at higher risk, Galvez said. Canteens and work places where people talk to each other are the most vulnerable, he said.
Earlier Monday, the Healthcare Professionals Alliance Against COVID-19 said reduced physical distancing could lead to higher infections. Citing the group's simulations, Health Sec. Francisco Duque said there could be an additional 686 cases per day. It will be considered in Tuesday's meeting.
The HPAAC gave the following recommendations on reducing COVID-19 risk when using public transport: