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Thou Shall Ventilate, Disinfect: 7 Commandments for Commuters

A pitch for economic revival amid strict health protocols.
by John Paulo Aguilera
Sep 15, 2020
Photo/s: Jerome Ascaño

The space between commuters in public transport is shrinking to move the economy faster, increasing the risk of catching COVID-19. However, infections can be prevented by following what a panel of health experts called the "Seven Commandments To Revitalize the Country Safely."

The same group, which includes former health secretary Manuel Dayrit, submitted its recommendations on physical distancing in public transport to the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19.

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Here are the "Seven Commandments To Revitalize the Country Safely" for commuters:

  • Wearing of proper face masks
  • Wearing of face shields
  • No talking and no eating
  • Adequate ventilation
  • Frequent and proper disinfection
  • No symptomatic passengers
  • Appropriate physical distancing

"We believe that the combination of these measures will be amongst the most comprehensive in the world, based on our consultation with international experts. These 7 Commandments need to be strictly enforced and independently monitored in their implementation," the group said.

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Implementing the rules will allow the gradual relaxing of social distancing measures for a two-fold or even three-fold increase in passenger capacity without compromising public health, it said.

"The comparative toll on Filipinos from a further prolonged recession is much more devastating than the manageable risks entailed in our plan. We believe that there is a way forward that carefully balances a careful reopening of public transport capacity, with public health, while allowing purposeful flexibility to re-adjust measures based on actual and evolving data from the ground."

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