When the government announced they would be reducing the minimum required distance for physical distancing, a panel of medical experts was quick to call this move impulsive, and instead advocated for the compliance with guidelines for safe commuting, which they dubbed the “seven commandments” for commuters.
Just in case anyone needs proof that this is sound science at work, here are the proponents: former Department of Health secretaries Dr. Manuel Dayrit and Dr. Esperanza Cabral; National Task Force against COVID-19 special advisor Dr. Teodoro Herbosa; University of the Philippines (UP)-Manila College of Public Health Dean Dr. Vicente Belizario Jr.; UP Manila Environmental and Occupational Health Department chair Dr. Michael Hernandez; Philippine College of Surgeons Cancer Commission Director Dr. Manuel Francisco Roxas; Eye Bank Foundation of the Philippines founder and CEO Dr. Ma. Dominga Padilla; and infectious disease specialist Dr. Rontgene Solante.
Nope, this isn’t a rewrite of the religious texts we’ve been oriented to. However, they likewise ask for just as much faithful observance from regular commuters who ride public utility vehicles on a daily basis.
- Wearing of face masks
- Wearing of face shields
- No talking and no eating
- Adequate ventilation
- Frequent and proper disinfection
- No symptomatic passengers
- Appropriate physical distancing
As anyone would have worked out, these are rules already implemented in public spaces, right? But that’s exactly it: redundancy is a requisite because we keep breaking these commandments.
As people continue to wear their face masks incorrectly, and businesses face closures due to improper implementation of protocols, health experts are compelled to demand strict cooperation from both sides. You may not be aware of it, but you might even be disobeying one or some of these yourself.
“By imposing these strict measures, we believe we can gradually relax social distancing rules, in order to double or even triple our current public transport capacity, without compromising public health,” the panel mentioned in a press statement.