DOH-7: Reduced distancing in public transpo not yet appropriate for Cebu
CEBU CITY, Philippines — If it was up to them, the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) will not recommend the implementation of a shorter physical distancing between passengers inside public transportation operating in Cebu.
Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, DOH-7 spokesperson, told reporters in a virtual press conference on Monday, September 14, said it was not yet appropriate for public utility vehicles (PUVs) here to implement the 0.75-meter distance, and that the recommended one-meter distance must still be implemented.
“We respect the orders of DOTr (Department of Transportation)… but we are still beginning to flatten the curve. In my personal opinion, in order to be able to achieve what we are supposed to achieve, we should remain in status quo,” said Loreche.
“But maybe, the way I see it, they are (banking) on the premise that with the face shield and face masks, they’re seeing that wider distance between passengers in public transportation is no longer necessary,” she added.
Loreche also said that shortening the recommended physical distancing would still be ‘premature’, particularly in Cebu City since it was still in its first few weeks under the most relaxed form of community quarantine – modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
“It’s too early for us to reduce (the recommended physical distancing) knowing we are still a ‘baby’ in terms of MGCQ. We still need to tighten our belt, and exert more effort in pushing and following all these minimum health standards,” she explained.
On Saturday, DOTr announced that it would proceed with its plan to gradually reduce the 1-meter rule, starting with 0.75 meters on Monday to help the public transport sector recover from a slump forced by coronavirus lockdowns since March, and to stimulate the growth of the economy, which slipped into recession in the second quarter.
The new rule took effect on Monday, September 14, despite criticisms from medical experts. / with reports from Philippine Daily Inquirer
READ MORE: Gov’t reduces physical distancing on PUVs
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