Physical distance won’t matter in enclosed spaces, med expert says

    COVID-19 can still be contracted in enclosed public transportation regardless of how far away the commuters and passengers are from each other, an expert explained.

    The statement came after the Department of Transportation (DOTr) implemented on Monday the reduction of physical distance from one meter to 0.75 meters among commuters in public transportation.

    Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, however, eventually announced the suspension of the new guideline until President Rodrigo Duterte decides on it.

    In an interview with CNN Philippines, Clean Air Philippines Movement Inc. President Dr. Leo Olarte stressed that to prevent the spread of the virus in closed spaces like public vehicles, the proper use of masks and face shields should be followed. People should also follow the no talking, no eating, and no drinking policy.

    “Ang pinaka-importante po talaga dito is yung paggamit ng wastong face mask,” Olarte said, citing the research of the Duke University School of Medicine on COVID-19 transmissions.

    “Kasi kung closed space po yan, the air just rotates around the closed space,” he added.

    Today, Roque confirmed on PTV that Duterte has rejected DOTr’s proposal, after taking into consideration the opinions of experts on the matter.

    He then reminded the public to stick to the original one-meter physical distance and continue to refrain from talking and eating inside public utility vehicles, and to always wear face masks and face shields.

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