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No air con in PUVs to stop COVID-19 spread – gov

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo - Reporter/CDN Digital | March 25,2020 - 12:27 AM
CSBT: Public utility buses in Cebu province will soon not be allowed to use their air con or air conditioners as part of the measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. | CDN Digital file photo

Public utility buses in Cebu province will soon not be allowed to use their air con or air conditioners and required to open their windows to allow fresh air to enter the bus as part of the measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. | CDN Digital file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The use of air con or air conditioners in public utility vehicles (PUVs) may soon be temporarily prohibited in Cebu province as a means of preventing the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, in a press conference on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, said her next executive order would be to require all PUVs to “let fresh air come in.”

Kining COVID-19 nga virus, ang massive contamination ani mahitabo in enclosed environment nga [air conditioned]. Sa bus, bisan og one seat apart mo, kung ni-atsing ang atubangan nimo unya sirado ang bus, unya katong ni-atsing naa na diay coronavirus, this can be carried in the air and mahanggap sa uban,” Garcia said.

(The COVID-19, the massive contamination usually happens inside an enclosed environment [in an air-conditioned area]. In an air-conditioned bus even if you follow the one seat apart rule if the passenger in front of you would sneeze and he or she has coronavirus, and the bus is an enclosed area, then you and the other passengers would likely inhale the droplets carrying the virus.)

Read more: DOH-7 reiterates calls for strict social distancing as PUMs, SARI, ILI count reach 14K

“Sige na lang og abog, sige na lang og init. Ang virus dili mabuhi og init. Mas mabuhi anang sirado, aircon nga atmosphere labi na og walay exhaust,” she explained.

(Just endure the dust and the heat. The virus will not thrive in this environment. The virus will thrive in a closed environment, air-con atmosphere, especially if there is no exhaust.)

No air con order out soon

Garcia said that once she would issue the order, the PUV drivers and operators would be given 24 hours to comply with it.

Ang tanan buses, kinahanglan abyerto na ang ilang mga buses. Sama usab sa uban forms of public transport sama sa v-hire, taxis, Grab. You will all be required to allow fresh air to come in,” Garcia said.

(All the buses are required to have their windows opened. That also includes all forms of public transport such as V-hires, taxis, Grab vehicles. You will all be required to allow fresh air to come in.)

Read more: LTFRB-7 tells PUV operators, drivers: Comply with ‘one seat apart’ rule or else…

Garcia said this would be additional measures in order to protect the riding public from COVID-19.

Aside from the no-aircon policy, Garcia has also reminded the public to observe social distancing while riding PUVs.

Read more: Gov: Report social distancing violators, drivers who double fare

In public transport’s social distancing, jeepneys are only allowed to board half of their capacity with the passengers sitting one seat apart.

Buses are also allowed to carry up to 25 passengers only, and also observing the one seat apart rule./dbs

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